Friday, May 19, 2017

High school sports this 'n' that

As of this writing, the brackets for Section II boys' lacrosse sectionals haven't been announced, which is weird, as those brackets were supposed to have been made public as of Wednesday. However, the girls' lacrosse tournament is underway. As of now, most of the attention is on the baseball sectionals, and rightfully so, as some of the top seeds in Classes AA, A, & B have already fallen.

We'll start with Class AA. Christian Brothers Academy was the #1 seed, but despite a late rally, lost for the 2nd time this season to defending champ Shenendehowa, 11-8, on Thursday. Seeded 8th, Shen now moves on to the semi-finals, where they'll play Saratoga in the first half of the Saturday double-header at Bruno Stadium.

The nightcap will see de facto host LaSalle, the #6 seed, as the road team vs. #2 Niskayuna, which routed Colonie, 16-7. LaSalle upset #3 Ballston Spa, 3-2, to reach the semis and play at least one more game in front of the home fans. The winners return to "The Joe" next Thursday night for the title game.

In Class A, defending champion Queensbury, the top seed, fell to Burnt Hills, 10-8, ending Queensbury's string of sectional titles. Up next for Burnt Hills will be another Foothills Council foe in Scotia, which beat Lansingburgh (Colonial Council), 5-4. Mohonasen (Suburban Council) defeated South Glens Falls, 12-6, and await the winner of a suspended game between Amsterdam and Gloversville, which will conclude tonight after the game was halted due to heavy rain on Thursday night.

Ichabod Crane, which won a division title in the Colonial, fell in Class B to Colonial rival Voorheesville, 6-4. Up next for Voorheesville will be Albany Academy, which upended Hudson, 12-8. In the other bracket, top-seeded Saratoga Central Catholic will meet Johnstown, which won a rain-shortened 6 inning affair, 8-1, over Broadalbin-Perth. SCC crushed Tamarac, 14-6, to advance.

In Class C, Chatham needed extra innings to eliminate Greenville, 5-4. Chatham will play Hoosic Valley next, while Greenwich & Lake George will meet in the other semi-final. Over in Class D, Fort Plain & Salem will finish their game today as well, as they were suspended in the 4th inning by rain. The winner, then, will play either New Lebanon or Germantown, as the result of that game was never reported to the local press by deadlines for today's editions. Whitehall & Fort Ann will meet in the other semi-final.

Barring any further weather issues, all the title games will be at Bruno Stadium Tuesday-Thursday next week.
As previously noted, Troy High's softball team will begin their quest for another sectional title, this time in Class AA, on Monday at Ballston Spa. For 1st year head coach Sean Geisel, it's been an easier transition than for any other new coach, as Geisel had been an assistant under former head coach George Rafferty, who coached at Hudson Valley Community College this season. Troy finished the regular season 14-5, but they're going through the same Suburban Council teams they played earlier in the season. The big question is whether or not the Lady Horses can flip the switch, like Shen did on the boys' side, and make a run to the title game, set for next Friday in Malta. We'll find out beginning on Monday.
To illustrate how bad Troy's tennis & track teams were, the school didn't qualify for sectionals in either sport, or so it'd seem.

In exchanging e-mails with James Allen of the Albany Times-Union & Spectrum Sports over the last week, I've learned the harsh truth about the lack of amenities for spring sports at most high schools, Troy included. There's just not enough money in the school budgets to add additional items such as electronic scoreboards and lights. It's just not going to happen any time soon.

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