The Mohonasen boys basketball team has improved so much over the last three seasons that not even an 0-2 performance in the Suburban Council Tournament's top division last weekend can sour the taste in coach Ken Dagostino's mouth.
I think it says a lot for the kids that they positioned themselves to play in the Tournament of Champions, said Dagostino.
A last-place team when Dagostino took over in 2005, the Mighty Warriors (8-6 league, 11-9 overall) rose to a first-place tie with Averill Park in the Suburban Council White Division this season, which earned them a shot at playing against the rest of the league's elite teams in the tournament.
Though Mohonasen lost to Colonie and Shenendehowa, Dagostino was pleased with how his team played, especially in its 62-59 loss to Shen in Saturday's consolation game at Albany's Washington Avenue Armory.
"I was more concerned about how (playing in the top division) affects us as a program than winning those games," said Dagostino. "I think the kids did a great job against Shenendehowa."
Mohonasen's focus now shifts toward the Section II, Class A playoffs, where Dagostino is hoping his team will earn a top-four seed after a strong showing in the Suburban Council.
"That would mean we went from a No. 13 seed (two years ago) to a No. 7 seed last year to a top four seed this year," said Dagostino.
It would also mean a first-round bye for the Mighty Warriors, which would put them one step closer to their next goal " a playoff win.
"Obviously everyone's goal is to win Sectionals, but our goal is to win that first game and get to Glens Falls," said Dagostino. "We don't want to overburden our minds."
Playing against class A competition should help Mohonasen. The Mighty Warriors won four of their first six games against class A teams before losing to Averill Park 45-34 in their final regular season game Feb. 2.
"Now they have to learn how to win in that situation," said Dagostino.
Mohonasen and the other boys basketball teams learned of their seedings at Wednesday's Section II committee meeting in Saratoga Springs. The playoffs begin next week.""