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Crosstown rivalry spices tournaments

"I think Shen is going to be really good," said Holmes. "Saratoga with (Jordan) Stevens back they'll be tough. And Burnt Hills should be tough. We'll be in the mix somewhere in the middle of the pack."

Both teams have to fill holes in their starting lineups after graduating some key seniors last year. Colonie's challenge will be replacing its entire starting backcourt following the departures of Brian Sleasman and Tashaun Newsome, along with starting forward Jim Bacher.

Fortunately for the Garnet Raiders, they have three guards with varsity experience to help fill the void " Kyle Mafrici, Kraig Arnold and Collin Mooney.

"Those guys will help in the backcourt," said Kilmer.

Colonie also returns a talented group of forwards led by Sean Peer, Herb Tedford, Mike Branche and Troy Turner.

"(Peer and Tedford) played really well all year " very well toward the end of the year," said Kilmer. "They've both played for three years, so they have experience."

Shaker has its own group of talented veterans with Greg Bonomo, Gerrel McFadden, Chris Hooks, Janique Lanier and Robert Johnson.

"We're just not real big (in size), but we're pretty athletic, and we shoot (the ball) pretty well at times," said Holmes.

Still, the Blue Bison will need help from a group of players up from last year's junior varsity team to make a move in the Suburban Council standings.

"We've got a few younger players who are starting to work their way in," said Holmes.

Both teams begin their Suburban Council seasons with home games Tuesday, Dec. 2. Colonie hosts Bethlehem, while Saratoga Springs visits Shaker.""

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