Press-Republican

December 6, 2012

MVAC basketball hit hard by graduation, titles up for grabs


Press-Republican

Editor’s note: Coaching forms were not received by Johnsburg or Minerva/Newcomb in time for the preview.

The top three teams in the Mountain & Valley Conference came from the North Division a season ago.

Schroon Lake (16-3), Elizabethtown-Lewis (15-5) and Willsboro (17-5) battled back-and-forth for most of the season.

The Wildcats came away with the MVAC North Division title, but the Warriors exacted their revenge with a 48-35 victory in the Section VII Class D title game.

Crown Point captured the South Division title a season ago with a 10-6 record. The Panthers received the No. 4 seed in the sectional tournament before falling to top-seed Schroon Lake.



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The Wildcats return talented player Jesse Shaughnessy for his senior season. Charlie Huttig is the lone returning player for Elizabethtown-Lewis, while Willsboro returns just three players from a year ago.

The Mountain & Valley Athletic Conference could be wide open this season.

CHAZY

With one win already under their belts, the Eagles field an experienced and poised team to the court. Chazy brings six players from their state championship soccer team onto the hardfloor this winter.

A guard-heavy team, Chazy looks to increase its shooting game and build off last year’s 6-11 record. Seniors Craig Botten, Justin Brothers and Brandon Laurin are three of the projected starting five for the Eagles. Juniors Alec Lapierre and Hayden Guay make up the team’s outside shooters.

During the team’s first game, Laurin dropped 18 points while Guay added 15 points to go along with six steals. With fewer big men in the paint to grab rebounds, head coach Cory Thompson wants his team to execute good passing and minimal turnovers.

Players Lost

Matthew Stalker, Cody Toohill.

Players Returning

Craig Botten, Justin Brothers, Tanner Chauvin, Brandon Laurin, Justin Roy, Alec Lapierre, Hayden Guay.

Newcomers

Eric Coupal, Kaleb Miller, Andrew Eseltine, Brenden Ryan, Keenan Hampton.

CROWN POINT

The Panthers lost two of their leading scorers from last season in Nathan Tabor and Jake Courcy. Both averaged 10 or more points a game. What was lost in scoring should be made up with experience head coach John Swinton said.

The team has nine returners, including seven seniors. Guards Jaice Spring and Gabe Macey had consistent scoring games last season with Macey averaging 5.5 per game. With a squad that finished 10-8 last season and a South Division championship, Swinton thinks this year’s team can return to its winning form.

Players Lost

Jeff Clarke, Jake Courcy, Jimmy Greenough, Tanner Macey, Caleb McGuinness, Nathan Tabor.

Players Returning

Joe Foote, Mike Gould, Dan Groshans, Gabe Macey, Jordan McIntosh, Duke Mildon, Jon Spaulding, Jaice Spring, Ryan Worth.

Newcomers

Michael Dushane.

ELIZABETHTOWN-LEWIS

There is a lot of turnover from last year’s team to now. The Lions lost nine players to graduation, leaving just senior Charlie

Huttig as the only returner to help lead nine newcomers. Huttig averaged 9.3 points last year, including seven double-digit point games. Last year’s team went 15-5, but lost in the Class D semifinals to Willsboro. Along with new head coach Colby Pulsifer, Huttig and the Lions have the challenge of forming team chemistry to make another strong playoff run.

Players Lost

EZ Diemand, Corey Feeley, Timmy LaRock, Andy Mitchell, Hunter Mowery, Zach Pelitier, Patrick Phillips, Nate Rock.

Player Returning

Charlie Huttig.

Newcomers

Owen Denton, Hugh Harwood, Justin LaPier, Connor Marvin, Austin Morris, Zac Noka-Bailey, R.J. Plant, Wesley Whalen, Cortland White.

INDIAN LAKE/LONG LAKE

The Orange return a hefty number of starters from last year’ team. With losing just two players to graduation, Indian Lake/Long Lake returns seven players and welcomes three newcomers.

Seniors Colin Farrell and Matt Moore are capable of playing both inside and outside, making it difficult for opposing defenses to guard. Farrell averaged 10.8 points per game last season while Moore brings the ball up court to set up the offense.

Henry Sandiford will be asked to do the same while Curtis Seaman and Rudy Giessen will be called upon to pull down rebounds. Seth Hart is expected to the team’s sixth man and Kyle Douglas hopes to see increased time after missing most of last season with an injury.

Players Lost

Damon Gagnier, Zack Rutland.

Players Returning

Kyle Douglas, Colin Farrell, Rudy Giessen, Seth Hart, Matt Moore, Henry Sandiford.

Newcomers

Josh King, Kole Morrissey, Billy Walters.

LAKE PLACID

After posting its best record in more than a decade at 9-9 last season, the Blue Bombers are using this year as rebuilding stage for the future.

With only two returners, this year’s squad has more youth than experience. Returning are Casey and Cody Porter. Both were limited in scoring with Casey dropping 11 points and Cody with 18 points. Leading scorers Jacob Daniels and Logan Stephenson were both lost to graduation.

The Blue Bombers opened their season Tuesday with a loss to Chazy. Newcomers Tarik Cecunjanin and Garrett Woodruff tossed in 11 points apiece.

Players Lost

Evan Bickford, Jacob Daniels, Dave Lawrence, Lucas McLean, JP Morrison, Logan Stephenson.

Returning Players

Casey Porter, Cody Porter.

Newcomers

Alex Brandes, Colin Briggs, Tarik Cecunjanin, Casey DiNicola, Chris Kordziel, Colton Preston, Garrett Woodruff.

SCHROON LAKE

Last year’s division champion returns three players from last year. With sound players and a deep bench, the Wildcats have just as good a chance to contend for another title shot.

The team returns senior Jesse Shaugnessy who led the Wildcats with 18.7 points per game last season. Seniors Jeff Armstrong and Bobby Rose will also be key parts to the offense. Along with basketball skill, these three will also be looked to for support by the younger players.

This year’s Wildcat team has eight new players, including sophomores Tanner Stone and Alex Shaughnessy. Stone and Jesse Shaughnessy combined for 29 points as Schroon Lake won its first game 59-34 against Willsboro.

Players Lost

Matt Filler, Noah Gath, Uriah Harvey, Matt Savarie, Ian Williams.

Players Returning

Jeff Armstrong, Bobby Rose, Jesse Shaughnessy.

Newcomers

Joe DeZalia, Justin Lough, Caleb Maisonville, Joe Maisonville, Eric Paradis, Alex Shaughnessy, Tanner Stone, Bryce Vallie.

WILLSBORO

With three games already in the books for Willsboro, the team has gotten an early look at what it looks like in game play. The Warriors are 0-3 after dropping games in the Alzheimer’s Awareness Tournament and then lost another meeting to Schroon Lake.

Through three games, Nick Arnold averages 16.6 points while Seth Swires and Brandon Porter have been the Warriors’ other scoring options.

Seniors Walker Lobdell and Sam Politti have seen significant playing time as well. Willsboro fields only eight players on its roster so playing time will be ample for all members.

Players Lost

Nick Ball, Brandon Bertrand, Clayton Cross, John Hubbard, Cody Sayward, Dakoda Sayward, Clay Sherman.

Players Returning

Nick Arnold, Walker Lobdell, Brandon Porter.

Newcomers

Jake Hubbard, Vadim Krivitcki, Jarrid McVicker, Sam Politti, Seth Swires.

WELLS

The Indians won their first game of the season by a slim three points against Indian Lake/Long Lake. After a 5-9 season last year, this year’s squad has been eager and motivated to get back on the court.

No one was lost from last year’s team which means Jake Earley and his 20.5 points per game are back. Ben Brenan’s 9.5 points and 12 rebounds per return as well.

Earley, Brenan, Caleb Hayes and Seth Weaver are expected to remain as starters while Kenny Chicoski looks to grab that fifth spot. The Indians added five new players to give the team an even deeper bench.

Players Lost

None.

Players Returning

John Biederman, Ben Brenan, Kenny Chicoski, Jake Earley, Blaine Elemendorf, Caleb Hayes, James Hoffman, Jared Jennings, Steven Mayer, Matt Michenzi, Johnny Page, Seth Weaver.

Newcomers

Adrian Collado, David Foster, Tyler Peck, Steven Raymond, Joey Trainor.

WESTPORT

Despite a disappointing 0-15 season, this year’s Westport squad has remained upbeat and ready to start anew.

With six returners and three newcomers, the Eagles will take the floor with a mix of young and old in their starting lineup.

Returners Gabe Schrauf, Ryan Davis and Jonathan Gay will help guide Anderson Gay and first-year varsity players Chris Clarke, John Doyle and Tyrel Tryon. Davis led the team with 7.4 points per game while Jonathan Gay was right behind with 7.3 points.

Players Lost

Ethan Markwica, Alex Steele.

Players Returning

Ryan Davis, Anderson Gay, Jonathan Gay, Robert King, james Moricette, Gabe Schrauf.

Newcomers

Chris Clarke, John Doyle, Tyrel Tryon.