Friday, January 15, 2016

High School Fridays: Averill Park at Troy (Boys basketball), 1/15/16

After a heartbreaking, one point loss to Guilderland on Tuesday that snapped an eight-game Suburban Council winning streak, Troy High completed a two-game homestand tonight, hosting Averill Park.

Consider for a moment the last time Troy lost a league game. It was the season opener vs. Colonie, another late heartbreaker, as the Garnet Raiders prevailed by three. Troy came home three nights later and blew Columbia out of Clem Zotto Memorial Gym by nearly 40 points. Would the same thing happen to Averill Park? 

Uh, yeah, but not quite as badly.

The Warriors led only once, with the first basket of the game. One Ryan Carmello three-pointer later, and the Flying Horses were off to the races. They would not trail again the rest of the night, en route to a 57-35 win. Averill Park falls to 2-8 on the season, while Troy goes to 9-2 (10-3 overall). Jack McLaren led Troy with a season high 19 points. Noah Yearsley had 16 for Averill Park before fouling out in the fourth quarter. At the time, the Warriors had three players in foul trouble (Yearsley, DJ Morone, and Anthony Germinerio, cousin of Troy football QB John Germinerio) and on the court. Coach Dave Pugilese was so frustrated, he used half of his time outs in the first quarter alone!

Next week, Troy goes on the road to play Burnt Hills, then renews a classic postseason rivalry with their first regular season meeting at Shaker. However, I doubt very seriously that the press will even bother bringing up the past.

In fact, the local papers didn't bother hyping up the girls game at Averill Park, a rematch of the Class A title game from last March. A story that pretty much writes itself, to be honest, and this was the first regular season meeting between the two schools. Like the boys game, it was a low scoring affair, but the Lady Warriors got the measure of Troy again, prevailing 46-43. There would be no late magic for Troy this time, after the Lady Horses came back from 11 down to beat Guilderland on Tuesday. As was the case Tuesday, Troy's offense was virtually a two woman show, as Shallie Frierson (14) & Sabrina Wolfe (22) combined for 36 points between them, and only two other players landed in the box score. This doesn't bode well for Troy going forward. Oh, sure, they get a breather with hapless Burnt Hills up next at home before they hit Murderers' Row (Shaker, @ Shenendehowa, @ Albany). Troy falls to third place, three games behind Albany, which blew away Burnt Hills tonight. The Lady Falcons get Averill Park next before a showdown with Shen.
Too often of late, the local press, for whatever reason, has let some stories go unwritten that would've made good copy years earlier. The lack of pre-game hype surrounding the Troy-Averill Park women's game is one such example. The lone high school hockey team in the hometown, LaSalle, is lucky to get a couple of paragraphs per week, at best, and just when you thought The Record and its sister publication, The Saratogian, would show some love since LaSalle was playing Shen on Wednesday night, they didn't. The game, won by Shen in overtime, 2-1, extending LaSalle's winless streak to 0-4-1 over their last five games (they're 0-for-January so far), merited only a box score in Thursday's Albany Times-Union. Tomorrow, the Cadets host Beekmantown in one of those rare birds, a Saturday matinee at home, an opportunity for revenge after losing at Beekmantown to start the season last month.

We'll talk more about this tomorrow.

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