The Mohonasen boys basketball team is hoping to build off its trip to last year's Section II, Class A semifinals this season.
The Mighty Warriors return seven players from the 2007-08 team including forward Jordan Macejka and guards Robert Tedesco, Nick Battaglia and Anthony Robustiano.
It's the most experience I've had coming back in the four years I've been here, said coach Ken Dagostino. "Now, they have to prove it."
The one thing Mohonasen lacks is height. The majority of the players are 6 feet, 2 inches or shorter, which puts the Mighty Warriors at a disadvantage in the low post.
"We've got a lot of experience, but we're still pretty small," said Dagostino. "But we get up and down the floor very well, and they hustle."
Mohonasen will compete amidst a changed landscape within the Suburban Council and Section II. The Suburban Council switched from three divisions to two geographical divisions and placed Mohonasen in the South Division with Colonie, Bethlehem, Averill Park, Columbia and defending league champion Guilderland.
"I like the division thing. I think it's pretty good for us," said Dagostino. "I definitely think we're in a position to compete."
Then, there is Class A, where one of the traditional powers " Albany Academy " has moved up to Class AA. However, Dagostino said there are still plenty of tough teams to deal with come Sectional time.
"(Bishop) Gibbons is going to be strong, I think Scotia-Glenville is going to be strong and I think our (Suburban Council) guys " Burnt Hills and Averill Park " are going to be strong," said Dagostino.
Mohonasen opens its season next Tuesday at Columbia.
Niskayuna starts over
While Mohonasen has a veteran core to build around this year, the same can't be said at Niskayuna.
The Silver Warriors graduated most of last year's roster including two of their top scorers, guard Garrett Bush and forward Alex Olbrych.
Niskayuna does return four seniors " Kevin Nunez, Dan Peters, Gregg Rahn and Josh Powers " but will have to rely on a group of newcomers to compete in the Suburban Council North Division against the likes of Shenendehowa, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, Saratoga Springs and Shaker.
The Silver Warriors open their season next Tuesday, Dec. 2, at Burnt Hills before hosting their annual Niskayuna Invitational Tournament Dec. 5 and 6.""