Monday, January 3, 2022

The Week Ahead: January 3-9, 2021

Skipped out on the last couple weeks of this - the pre-holiday week was a mess, and the holiday tournament week was well-documented & set in stone with Amsterdam & Impact - but back at it to start 2022. What games am I planning to attend over the next few days? Check out the week ahead:

Mon, 1/3: Broadalbin-Perth @ Glens Falls (S2)
Tues, 1/4: Mechanicville @ Greenwich (S2)
Wed, 1/5: Moravia @ Union Springs (S4)
Thurs, 1/6: Northern Adirondack @ AuSable Valley (S7) *weather-dependent - may stay local*
Fri, 1/7: Columbia @ Colonie (S2) *weather dependent - plan to go wherever games are played*
Sat, 1/8: General Brown @ Copenhagen (S3)
Sun, 1/9: TBD...

After a four-day stretch filled with 26 games (12 at Amsterdam, 14 at Impact) & 29 different teams, we go from perhaps the heaviest game load to the lightest, with only six games on my current schedule for the week. This is subject to change as there will certainly be no shortage of postponements/cancellations & general virus/weather related movement; hopefully it'll allow my week to be a little more productive in the process.

Whereas the schedule may not be conducive to hitting a higher quantity of games, there's a good amount of quality. I start off in Glens Falls on perhaps the lightest day of the regular season, with only approximately 20 games in my entire coverage region, but it picks up quickly after that. Among highlights of the next few days:

- I plan to get a look at Greenwich against one of the only teams on their schedule that can compete with them
- Two of the IAC's top teams with college-level talent hit the court in Moravia & Union Springs
- On a big Thursday in Section 7 that features potential sectional final matchups in both Class B & C, I'll look to hit the C one (weather-dependent) with Northern Adirondack making the trip south to AuSable
- Two of the Frontier League's top teams and Section 3 title contenders in Class B & D match up over the weekend with General Brown heading to Copenhagen

Keep tabs on social media, particularly Twitter (@NYSTakeover), for any updates to the schedule & constant info on Northeast girls' hoops. Hopefully I'll see you in the gym!

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Amsterdam & Shen Bring the Epicenter of NY Holiday Hoops to the 518

From the basketball quiet on Christmas Eve & Day to the wild nature of the schedule that directly follows, there's no point during the year that goes from 0 to 100 quite like holiday tournament week. Thankfully for hoop enthusiasts that live in the 518, four straight action-packed days give off more of a March Madness feel than high school midseason play.

There are several holiday tournaments throughout Section II - places like BKW, Glens Falls, Maple Hill, Mayfield, and Mohonasen bring the more traditional four-team format to their courts - but two separate themselves from the pack in many ways. Throw in the late cancellation of Elmira's Josh Palmer Classic and decentralization of the Syracuse area's More Than a Game Classic, who had to pull all games out of Onondaga Community College, and the Amsterdam College Showcase and the Shen/Impact Athletic Center Holiday Classic headline holiday hoops in upstate NY.

The Amsterdam College Showcase, held at Amsterdam High School on December 27-28, features 14 teams representing four NYSPHSAA sections along with a New Hampshire representative. A couple late backouts have forced some late schedule adjustments from 16 overall games down to the currently scheduled 13, but both days include AM-to-PM action. Among the long list of must-watch players at the event are a half-dozen D1 offered or committed players, and seven of the teams were recognized in the NYSSWA's initial state rankings last week. That includes four in the AAs, host Amsterdam (#12 in A), Schalmont (#4 in B), and Duanesburg (the state's top-ranked C). One scheduled out-of-state participant, Holy Redeemer of Wilkes-Barre, PA, was a late scratch, so the remaining non-New York representative is New Hampshire & NHIAA Division II power Hanover.

After the completion of Amsterdam's showcase, Shen/Impact follows suit on December 29-30. This inaugural event currently holds a full field of 16 varsity teams/16 games over two days (along with 10 JV teams on a separate court). Alongside a heavy contingent of Section II teams, there are also teams representing four NYSPHSAA sections & New Hampshire at this event. The similar pre-event watch list can be given for here, as around a half-dozen D1 offered/committed players headline those anticipated to play and eight NYSSWA state-ranked teams. Among the headlining in-state programs are host Shenendehowa (#3 in AA), Averill Park (#1 in A), and Pittsford Mendon (#5 in A). Their lone out-of-state representative is another state power in New Hampshire Division I Bishop Guertin out of Nashua.

Full schedules, as of December 26, are listed below. A lot of good basketball in the 518 between these two places. Hope to see you in the gym!

AMSTERDAM COLLEGE SHOWCASE (all games held at Amsterdam High School)

DECEMBER 27 (Monday)
11:30 - Duanesburg (II) vs. Wallkill (IX)
1:00 - Albany (II) vs. Penfield (V)
2:30 - Troy (II) vs. Saugerties (IX)
4:00 - Shaker (II) vs. Baldwinsville (III)
5:30 - Bethlehem (II) vs. Hanover (NH)
7:00 - Saratoga Springs (II) vs. Fairport (V)

DECEMBER 28 (Tuesday)
10:00 - Troy (II) vs. Wallkill (IX)
11:30 - Baldwinsville (III) vs. Penfield (V)
1:00 - Shaker (II) vs. Saugerties (IX)
2:30 - Schalmont (II) vs. Fairport (V)
4:00 - Saratoga Springs (II) vs. Hanover (NH)
5:30 - Albany vs. Duanesburg (both II)
7:00 - Amsterdam vs. Johnstown (both II)

SHEN/IMPACT HOLIDAY CLASSIC (all games held at Impact Athletic Center)

DECEMBER 29 (Wednesday)
10:00 - Fonda-Fultonville vs. Mechanicville (all II)
11:30 - Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake vs. Queensbury (all II)
1:00 - Albany Academy vs. Cambridge (all II)
2:30 - Colonie (II) vs. Our Lady of Lourdes (I)
4:00 - Averill Park (II) vs. Pittsford Mendon (V)
5:30 - Albany (II) vs. Cicero-North Syracuse (III)
7:00 - Shenendehowa (II) vs. Bishop Guertin (NH)
8:30 - Niskayuna (II) vs. Liverpool (III)

DECEMBER 30 (Thursday)
9:30 - Albany Academy vs. Mechanicville (all II)
11:00 - Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (II) vs. Liverpool (III)
12:30 - Averill Park (II) vs. Bishop Guertin (NH)
2:00 - Shenendehowa (II) vs. Pittsford Mendon (V)
3:30 - Albany (II) vs. Our Lady of Lourdes (I)
5:00 - Colonie (II) vs. Cicero-North Syracuse (III)
6:30 - Cambridge vs. Fonda-Fultonville (all II)
8:00 - Niskayuna vs. Queensbury (all II)

Monday, December 13, 2021

The Week Ahead: December 13-19, 2021

Three down, 14 to go!

Skipping the small talk this time, it's a weekly thing. Time for 'The Week Ahead'. What gyms am I tentatively planning to be in this week? Check it out:

Mon, 12/13: Gananda @ East Rochester (S5) 
Tues, 12/14: Penfield @ Pittsford Mendon (S5)
Wed, 12/15: Catskill @ Greenville (S2) as primary; will catch some of Hudson @ Cairo-Durham before
Thurs, 12/16: Elmira Notre Dame @ Waverly (S4) for now; this could change
Fri, 12/17: Ichabod Crane @ CCHS (S2) or Marathon @ Union Springs (S4) - still to decide
Sat, 12/18: Heuvelton @ Massena, then Lowville/Gouverneur, Harrisville/Hermon-DeKalb, Northern Adirondack/Canton @ SUNY Canton (S10) - weather dependent & also could change
Sun, 12/19: nothing on the schedule as of now - if there's a game I'm unaware of, let me know!

The two highlights of this week, at least at this stage, are pretty apparent: I'm making my first Section V trip of the year to start the week, and besides that, there's a lot of uncertainty. Thursday & Friday are currently somewhat up in the air due to my own indecisiveness (and understanding that I'll need to be flexible given all the recent schedule changes), and Saturday could bring snow to the area in which I plan to travel to. As far as games go, Penfield/Mendon has to take the cake for hottest contest of the week. I'm sure I'll be one of approximately 385738 people covering it - see you all there! Gananda's season opener & a good matchup in the post against defending Section V C1 champ East Rochester to start. Janay Brantley, fresh off a 50 piece McNugget, and her Catskill team head to a sneaky solid Greenville. END/Waverly should be intriguing, Ichabod/CCHS features two of the Albany area's finest young guards & Marathon/Union Springs features two of its region's finest older guards. Altogether, should be fun wherever I land. See you in some gyms!

Monday, December 6, 2021

The Week Ahead: December 6-12, 2021

The weekly count continues... two down, hopefully 15 left!

If you've followed along to this point, you know the drill. If not, welcome to the party. Time for another installment of 'The Week Ahead', a weekly post highlighting my anticipated/hopeful schedule leading into each week of HS season for the following days. This is always subject to change - the coordination & occasionally necessary process of making sure schools are allowing media in the gym (which hasn't been an issue so far but things are always fluid), the dreaded five letters of COVID, and the ever-changing Northeast weather patterns can change plans in a heartbeat. As much as I'd like for it to be set in stone, this is always in pencil, never in Sharpie.

That being said, my hopeful schedule for the upcoming week:

Mon, 12/6: Corinth @ Saratoga Catholic (1st half), South Glens Falls @ Hudson Falls (S2) (was Warwick/Lourdes, then Frankfort/Poland before postponements)
Tues, 12/7: Bethlehem @ Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (S2)
Wed, 12/8: Marcellus @ Bishop Ludden (S3)
Thurs, 12/9: Red Hook @ Millbrook (S9)
Fri, 12/10: Fonda @ Duanesburg (S2) (time change took away possibility of 2nd game)
Sat, 12/11: Elmira @ Maine-Endwell (S4) (second game postponed)
Sun, 12/12: Tournament @ Our Lady of Lourdes (S1) - includes Lourdes, Saratoga Springs, Ursuline, West Genesee

Another travel-heavy week as the Section 2 schedule slowly churns to full strength - Friday is the first truly busy day in the 518. I plan to make my first 845 trips of the winter this week, and it could be multiple times, though three planned nights quickly turned into two after a postponement. Still some small school action, but some more AAs & As this week as the large schools are revving up to full game activity. Another 11-game week planned - not an overload (to put in perspective, holiday tournament week will bring me to about 30 games), but also not nothing either. And a seven-day week - games on Sunday!

Every day brings a potentially intriguing game for various reasons. On top of that, there are plenty of good ones that I'll miss because I can't split myself yet - might have to finally break out some Views From The Couch if I have time. Hopefully I'll see you in the gym!

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

The Week Ahead: November 29-December 5, 2021

One week of games down, hopefully 16 more to go!

Another installment of 'The Week Ahead'. Again, look for weekly posts on this blog highlighting my planned or hopeful schedule leading into each week of action during HS season. This is always subject to change with so many moving parts during scholastic season, especially in these times. Consistent coordination with ADs/coaches to make sure they're allowing media in the building is still needed, the dreaded five letters of COVID, and of course the ever-changing Northeast weather patterns all change plans at a moment's notice. So think of this as 'in pencil' & not 'in Sharpie' - always subject to change!

That being said, my hopeful schedule for the week:

Mon, 11/29: required off day (probably the only one!)
Tues, 11/30: Tournament 1st Round @ Walton (S4) - Worcester vs. Franklin, Deposit/Hancock @ Walton
Wed, 12/1: TBD... Section 7 (Willsboro)? Section 3 (Auburn)? have yet to decide
Thurs, 12/2: Queensbury @ Johnstown; likely another Foothills game after (Scotia/Broadalbin?)
Fri, 12/3: Tournament 1st Round @ Delaware Academy (S4) - Cambridge/Duanesburg, Cooperstown @ Delhi
Sat, 12/4: Drago Tournament Consolation/Championship @ Oneonta (S4) - Colonie, Horseheads, Newark Valley, Oneonta; Tournament Consolation/Championship @ Laurens (S4) - Edmeston, Hunter-Tannersville, South Kortright @ Laurens
Sun, 12/5: haven't found anything yet... anyone have a game or scrimmage that I've missed? Let me know!

Another week of small school madness, for the most part, and a whole lot of Section 4. This isn't a surprise & usually the way it goes; it's usually small schools that play more actual games in the early stages of the season, and if there's one thing I've learned, it's that the eastern half of Section 4 loves their tipoff tournaments. Especially if I go north to Section 7 on Wednesday, there's potential to hit the entirety of 10 games and parts of another couple this week.

Particularly looking forward to getting eyes on Queensbury, who didn't play last winter, and there are some intriguing matchups at the tournaments - Worcester/Franklin, Cambridge/Duanesburg, a potential Colonie/Newark Valley contrast of styles, etc. Hopefully I'll see you in the gym!

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

The Week Ahead: November 22-28, 2021

It's about that time... we're back!

Look for weekly posts on this blog highlighting my planned or hopeful schedule leading into each week of action during HS season. This is always subject to change with so many moving parts during scholastic season, especially in these times. Consistent coordination with ADs/coaches to make sure they're allowing media in the building is still needed, the dreaded five letters of COVID, and of course the ever-changing Northeast weather patterns all change plans at a moment's notice. So think of this as 'in pencil' & not 'in Sharpie' - always subject to change!

That being said, my hopeful schedule for the week:

Tues, 11/23: Tournament @ Hunter-Tannersville (S4) - Margaretville vs. Windham-Ashland-Jewett (Consolation), Schenevus @ H-T (Championship) (Five is Enough as Schenevus Runs Past H-T; Hunter-Tannersville Tournament Recap (
Wed, 11/24: Scrimmage (S2) - Berne-Knox-Westerlo, Fonda-Fultonville @ Amsterdam
Fri, 11/26: Tournament @ Schoharie (S2) - Bishop Gibbons/Cherry Valley-Springfield, Germantown @ Schoharie (Cherry Valley & Schoharie Run Through Openers; Schoharie Tournament Recap (
Fri, 11/26: Tournament @ Cohoes (S2) - Lansingburgh/Mekeel, Bishop Maginn @ Cohoes
Sat, 11/27: Muggsy's Tournament @ Saranac (S7) - Beekmantown vs. Heuvelton (Consolation), Northeastern Clinton @ Saranac (Championship) (NCCS Rolls, Beekmantown Youth Rises to Occasion: Muggsy’s Tournament Recap (Championship Day) (
Sun, 11/28: Tournament @ West Canada Valley (S3) - Brookfield, Sherburne-Earlville, Westmoreland, West Canada Valley (Consolation/Championship)

Small schools rule the stage for the week as the majority of 'counts on the record' game action is Class B-D tipoff tournaments. At least a couple scrimmages are mixed in with the hopes of adding 2-3 more. Week 1 of a fun few months underway!

Colonie & Catskill Cross Paths in Season Opening Scrimmage: Notes & Thoughts

November 22, 2021

Feels great to talk about high school hoops in November again. The 2021-22 season is a go!

Although games that count on the record start to trickle in during Thanksgiving week, I always call this, the 2nd week of the season, scrimmage season. Day 1 of scrimmage season tipped off Monday with a light load of gatherings. The one I was able to stop at featured two Section 2 teams not used to bumping into each other, as Patroon/Class B Catskill made the trip north to compete with Suburban/Class AA Colonie. A few notes & takeaways from opening day in Raider country:

The versatility shows here, as Gabby Martin takes care of some ballhandling duties for Colonie. The developing 5'10" 2024 will be called upon to do some of everything for the Raiders this year.