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Schenectady County boys basketball preview

With the 2006-07 boys basketball season in full swing this weekend, here is a look at Mohonasen, Niskayuna, Schalmont, Schenectady Christian and Scotia-Glenville:

Mohonasen Mighty Warriors

Head coach: Ken Dagostino

League: Suburban Council (White Division)

Key veterans: Pat Barnes, Cameron Couball, Jordan Macejka

Outlook: The Mighty Warriors didn't win many games in Dagostino's first season last year, but with nine returning players, he's hopeful for a better 2006-07 campaign.

I think we will be improved, said Dagostino. "I think this group has really opened some eyes as to how hard you have to work in order to improve."

Two things could work in Mohonasen's favor. The Mighty Warriors lost several close games last year to veteran Suburban Council clubs, and they will be in a division where the other three teams (Averill Park, Niskayuna and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) all graduated key players.

"Hopefully, a year of experience will help us," said Dagostino.

Mohonasen opens its season Friday against Bethlehem in the Niskayuna Invitational Tournament.

Niskayuna Silver Warriors

Head coach: Mike Black

League: Suburban Council (White Division)

Key veterans: Alex Olbrych, Pete Andriakos, Jonathan Randolph

Key newcomers: Joe Privatera, Garrett Bush

Outlook: The Silver Warriors will try to overcome the departure of several key players from last year's team including Phillip Rivers, Steve Sommer, Dan Halayko, John Koch, Larry Ritter and Brian Grastorf. They open their season Friday by hosting Schalmont at the Niskayuna Invitational Tournament.

Schalmont Sabres

Head coach: Kevin Curtin

League: Colonial Council

Key veterans: Nick Bonitatibus, Josh Catino, Jack Macejka, Bill Iachetta

Key newcomers: Dustin Quay, Chris Hotaling, Mark Belles

Outlook: The Sabres won't have a lot of height this year, but Curtin said the team's speed and aggressiveness will compensate for it.

"We'll look to push the ball up the court and get to the back (on defense) quickly to force the other team to turn the ball over," said Curtin.

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