Fittingly for Friday the 13th, there was a full moon out. Unfortunately, that spelled trouble for Troy High.
The Flying Horses welcomed back senior point guard Ryan Carmello, who missed the last 4 games with an ankle injury. Troy went 1-3 over that span, but tonight, they still had someone important missing. This time, it was coach Richard Hurley, as assistant coach Greg Davis ran the team in his stead. Not sure what the story is, be it illness or something else entirely. Just the same, it was a bad omen.
Bethlehem provided the opposition for Troy tonight, making their 2nd regular season visit to Zotto Gym. The Eagles won here in 2014, when Troy was an independent. After Troy jumped out to an early 10 point lead in the first quarter, the Eagles chipped away, then, in the second period, applied a full court press that Troy had trouble breaking. Bethlehem took the lead during the second period, and never looked back. Daniel Buie led Troy with 18 points. Brandon Holmes chipped in 11 before fouling out late in the fourth quarter, Joe Casale added 7, and Carmello, in his first game back, had 4. Bethlehem led by as much as 14 in the fourth, but left with a 63-56 win, as Troy has now lost four of their last five to fall 3 1/2 games behind front running Schenectady in the Suburban Council's Grey division.
Next week, the boys are on the road at Guilderland and Averill Park before returning to Zotto Gym in 2 weeks to host Burnt Hills. Five of Troy's final eight regular season games are on the road.
Meanwhile, the girls' struggles continued, as the Lady Horses dropped their 4th straight, 75-52, to Bethlehem. Shallie Frierson returned after missing the last two games, and led Troy with 20 points in a losing effort. The Lady Eagles are now 4-0 against Troy over three seasons. The girls are home next week vs. Guilderland and Averill Park. The Lady Warriors moved ahead of Troy in the standings, as Troy falls to 3 games behind Albany. Second place, then, will be on the line when Averill Park makes its first regular season visit to Zotto Gym next Friday. The only time I've seen them play is when they beat Troy in an overtime thriller in the Class A title game 2 years ago at HVCC.
On the ice, LaSalle ran their winning streak to 9 in a row, blowing away Niskayuna-Schenectady, 8-3. The Cadets remain undefeated (10-0-2), and will be on the road to visit Shenendehowa on Wednesday night. The Mohawks will get one more crack at LaSalle when the Cadets return to Schenectady on January 28. With 8 games left, the race may actually be for 2nd place in the Capital District High School Hockey League.