The boys’ varsity basketball team lost both league games they played this week but they showed great improvement, thanks in a large part by the return of Sam Waterbury to the team.
Tuesday, Jan. 17, they traveled to Oriskany to take on their state-ranked team. They were competitive with this team all game long and ended up losing the game 62-45.
Calvin Risley had a big night as he led all scorers with 24 points. Most of his points came on his outside shooting as he netted a near school record of six 3-pointers in the game. Waterbury had eight points as he attempts to get back to his game playing shape. Ethan Kress had seven points and Dane Daiker, Greg Hunkins and Parker Clemans each had two points.
Thursday, Jan. 19, the team hosted a good Poland club and nearly pulled off a great victory before losing 51-47.
Old Forge had their chance when, behind by two points and with the ball with 22 seconds left to play, a 3-point try for the victory just rimmed out. Poland got the rebound with 4.7 seconds left to play and was immediately fouled. They made the two foul shots to win the game by four.
It was a tough loss to take and one in which I feel we would win once this full team has more games under their belt playing together again. What hurt the team immensely was the beginning to each half. They fell behind 9-2 to start the game and had a terribly slow start to the second half before they could get going again. Those two starts made a big difference in the game.
Waterbury, still working on the return of his game, nevertheless, led the scoring with 20 points. Hunkins had eight points, Kenny Pastore had seven, Kress and Risley each had four and Clemans and Daiker each had two points.
Even with the tough loss, the team looked much better and probably was their best outing of the year. Their goal is to qualify for the sectional playoffs and then see what happens. They have a realistic chance of doing that and one never knows once you get to the playoffs. If enough Class D schools qualify and they separate the class into two divisions, D1 and D2, it would give the team a real shot at winning the D2 division.
Boys junior varsity basketball
The boys’ junior varsity team played two league games this past week at Oriskany and at home against Poland.
Oriskany took advantage of their over-matched opponents and defeated the Eskimos 58-33. Will Johnson led the team with 16 points followed by Andy Slegaitis with nine, Cameron Lenci had six points and Tom Lindsay had two. The game was played Tuesday, Jan. 17.
Thursday, Jan. 19, Old Forge hosted Poland and ended up with the same result, a 55-19 romp for Poland. Old Forge did not play well before their home fans with their turnovers far exceeding their point total. Johnson, again, led his team with 11 points. Slegaitis gave it all he had, as usual, ended up with five points with Victor Pedraza scoring two and Lenci had one point.
Cross country ski team
The cross country ski team had another race this week and that was on Wednesday, Jan. 18, at Camden. This, again, was a race involving the Section III teams and they ran this race in relay fashion on the athletic grounds at Camden High School. The meet was organized a little differently but the end result was adding up the split times of each schools best three finishers and that determined the rank of the teams competing. Each skier, boy and girl, covered a course a little over 2k, too long to call it a sprint and too short compared to the usual races. Since these teams meet each other regularly over the course of the season, it helps to have a different look to some of the races.
In the girls division, it was no contest again. Old Forge easily won with Holland Patent a distant second. Whitesboro, Camden and Adirondack followed in that order. addie Phaneuf placed first, Megan Greene was second, Olivia Phaneuf—an ever improving skier—placed fourth, Andrea Frey was sixth, Allyson Brosemer was eighth and Jessica Hannah was ninth. That is six girls from Old Forge in the top nine places, a huge dominance.
The boys race was a very close race for Old Forge. As I said earlier, Holland Patent has enough skiers that are good enough to keep Old Forge honest. Also, some of the schools were behind Old Forge in getting on snow for their training and that will start to balance off soon. Old Forge and Holland Patent each ended up with 13 points with the winner being Old Forge based on the better placement of their fourth skier. Tecwyn Williams came in fourth for Old Forge, but, he came in tenth place ahead of Holland Patents’ fourth skier who came in 14th. That shows just how important a skier can be even if he does not count toward his teams total. Always do your best and hope it helps—and it sure did in Williams run.
Adam Luban was first, Colin Criss was third, Henry Uzdavinis was ninth, and Evan Nahor was 25th.
After Holland Patent, Whitesboro was in third, Adirondack in fourth and Camden, fifth.
Girls junior varsity volleyball
The girls’ junior varsity volleyball team lost to New York Mills last Wednesday, Jan. 18, in two sets; 25-22 and 25-16.
Sara Carnell had three aces and one assist; Amber Midgley had one ace and one kill; Nicole Redpath had three aces and Lexie LaFountain had three aces with Sara Dempsey recording two aces.
Girls varsity volleyball
The girls’ varsity volleyball team had one league match this past week and that was at New York Mills last Wednesday, Jan. 18.
It was a very close match with the Mills winning the first two games, 26-24 and 25-23—both tough losses. Old Forge came back to win game three, 25-19, but lost the fourth by the same 25-19 score and thus the match.
Jessica Menges had two aces, 17 kills, one assist and three digs; Daria Orekhov had two aces, one kill and 26 assists; Alex Levi had 14 kills and two digs and Sarah Branch had five kills, two assists and three digs.
Girls varsity basketball
Friday, Jan. 20, the girls’ varsity basketball team traveled to Westmoreland in a league contest against this Class C school. For some unknown reason, the girls seem to play better away from home which is the exact opposite of what most teams do. They played another good game and this time, it resulted in victory, 46-30.
Again, they put on a better offensive showing after a slow start that had them behind Westmoreland 9-8 after one period of play. The next two periods of play produced 27 points and a big lead after three periods of play. Coach Andrew Huntress was able to rest his top players in the fourth period that was evenly played.
Katie Connell had another big game as she recorded another double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds, all in just three periods of play. Connell also had two blocks. Sam Notley had her best game of her young career as she scored 11 points, had four rebounds and four steals. Haley Josephson played less minutes but still managed 10 points, four rebounds and three assists. Mercedes Rice had two points, seven rebounds and three steals, Jodi Bolton had four points and three rebounds and Elizabeth Getty had two points, seven rebounds and two steals.
The team had little time to enjoy the victory as they had to be ready to play a non-league game against Little Falls, at home, 14 hours later. It is very hard to get ready in that short of time after a tough game and long bus trip. It is hard enough for normal athletes to get their “legs” to play well let alone a girl who is coming back from a severe knee injury. But, they had no choice.
Little Falls brought in a very tall and talented team that has a fine winning record in the upper school division of the CSC League. The result of the game was no surprise as they easily defeated Old Forge in a game that surely helped neither team. Old Forge played hard, but, they could not shoot the ball as well as the previous night even though they did get many shots that they usually have more success in making. Connell had trouble getting any kind of shot over the taller Little Falls players, but, she managed to lead the team in scoring with 11 points. Connell had six rebounds and three blocks. Josephson had a poor shooting game as she was limited to five points, but, she worked hard despite her shooting and had several nice assists and was the leading rebounder with nine boards against her taller opponents. Rice also worked hard as she contributed four points and six rebounds, Notley and Bolton each had two points to round out the scoring.
The team has some key home games coming up and we are waiting for them to put together a nice game in front of the home crowd. Despite not winning many games with a most difficult schedule, the team continues to work hard and are a big surprise to the other teams in the league as to how competitive they have been. They play a home game this Wednesday, Jan. 25, against the league leading Oriskany team starting at 6 p.m.