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Saratoga County boys basketball preview

"We're hoping we can go out and compete in a tough Suburban Council," he said.

The Blue Streaks play Vestal (Section IV) Friday in the opening round of the Saratoga Tournament.

Saratoga Central Catholic Saints

Head coach: John Catone

League: Western Athletic Conference (Northern Division)

Key veterans: Pat O'Rourke, Ryan Knotek, Neil Callahan, Zack Carlson

Key newcomers: Tucker Carlson, Vince Farfaglia

Outlook: The Saints will try to overcome the graduation of Kyle Stevens " one of the most dominating forwards in the WAC last year " with strong play from O'Rourke at shooting guard and Knotek at forward. Callahan and Zack Carlson will also contribute in the low post for Saratoga Catholic.

The Saints face Broadalbin-Perth in Saturday's Spa Catholic Jamboree.

Shenendehowa Plainsmen

Head coach: Tony Dzikas

League: Suburban Council (Blue Division)

Key veterans: Todd Degnan, Mike Hammond, Michael Schauffert

Key newcomer: Bob Tudor

Outlook: Like Saratoga, Shen is hoping for a better finish this season.

"We've scrimmaged some of the top teams to see where we're at," said Dzikas, who is entering his second season at Shen. "We have some work to do, but I think we have a capable team."

Degnan and Hammond give the Plainsmen two good perimeter shooters, while Schauffert and Tudor " a transfer student from Georgia " provide a strong interior presence. That combination should help Shen keep up with Saratoga, Colonie and Shaker this year.

"Saratoga will be tough this year. The Stevens kid is on another plane," said Dzikas.

The Plainsmen face Columbia in Friday's opening round of the Shawn Walsh Memorial Tournament.""

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