Thursday, February 11, 2016

High school sports this 'n' that

The regular season is just about over in high school hockey. LaSalle closes out on the road vs. Queensbury on Friday, and, pending a meeting of the Section II hockey committee on Sunday, the Cadets are, presently, the 7th seed in the sectional tournament. 10 of the 11 teams in the Capital District High School Hockey League (CDHSHL) play in Division 1 (Queensbury plays in Division 2), and in order to get the field pared to 8, there will be two play-in games on Monday at Bethlehem. If the current standings hold, LaSalle would get a rematch vs. Guilderland-Mohonasen-Scotia, after winning the lone regular season meeting between the two teams at HVCC a few weeks back.

However, the focus now is on Queensbury, after avenging an earlier loss to Tri-Falls last night with a 5-2 win in the home finale at HVCC. The Cadets welcomed back Sam Mulson from the injured list, and Mulson responded with a hat trick. Now, it's a matter of whether or not LaSalle can sustain the momentum going forward.
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I'm not entirely aware of the State Education Department's Basic Education Data System (BEDS), but it paid dividends for Troy High & Lansingburgh High earlier this week.

According to sportswriters D. J. Eberle & Stan Hudy of The Record/Saratogian, the two schools will upgrade their football classification this fall. Lansingburgh, which has bounced between Classes A & B in recent years, moves back to A for 2016. The Knights will be the only Colonial Council school in that classification, as Class A is filled with teams from the Suburban Council (Averill Park, Mohonasen, Niskayuna), Foothills Council (Scotia & 2015 A champ Amsterdam), and the Adirondack Conference (Queensbury).

Meanwhile, Troy moves to Class AA, meaning they'll play Suburban brethren CBA, Colonie, Shaker, and/or Shenendehowa, depending on which division they'll play in, but the key to this move appears to be the resumption of a in-city rivalry with LaSalle. The two teams have not met on the gridiron in a few years, and if the teams are matched on the schedule, which becomes public in mid-August, you can expect either Sutton Field at LaSalle or Ed Picken Field at Troy High to be close to full capacity.
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The regular season for high school basketball is over, and sectional play will start on Friday night for the lower classes (i.e. Class C, D). The biggest surprise, at least to this writer, comes in Boys' Class A. Defending champion Scotia is the #2 seed behind Suburban Council Grey champion Troy, despite the fact that the Tartans, who finished second in the Foothills Council behind Glens Falls, had a better overall record.

One must assume that strength of schedule was a factor in the Section II Basketball committee's decision, rendered last night. Troy had a tough non-conference schedule, including going 1-1 in the Bishop Ludden tournament back in late December (they finished 3rd). Troy & Scotia both get 1st round byes, and will play their first games on February 21 at HVCC.

One change that Section II made, perhaps in response to complaints from fans and parents last year, was in the schedule for boys and girls games at HVCC on February 20-21. If you look close at the times, you'll see each game is expected to be completed within a span of 1 hour, 45 minutes. This time, it would appear that they are trying to account for overtime, but also, they realized the need to improve fan traffic between games. At least, it's a start.

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