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Voorheesville Blackbirds become roadrunners

The Voorheesville boys basketball team finds itself at a crossroads this year.

Instead of relying on their big men in the lane, the Blackbirds are going to have a more guard-oriented, fast-paced offense.

We're going to push the ball a lot more this year, said Voorheesville coach Don Catellier. "We're going to run up and down the court."

The reason is that Voorheesville lost one half of its twin towers with the graduation of forward Evan Christner. And though the Blackbirds will have junior center Ethan Mackey back for another season, they won't have another sizeable presence in the lane the likes of the 6-foot, 4-inch, 220-pound Christner.

Still, Mackey gives Voorheesville a go-to guy near the basket.

"Ethan, as a junior, is probably going to be one of the best big men in Section II among the small school divisions," said Catellier.

Mackey won't be the only weapon Voorheesville utilizes. Guard Nick Kinisky and forward Nick Crawford are also expected to play significant roles in the offense.

"Nick Crawford is 6-3, 6-2, but he can jump through the roof," said Catellier.

Kinisky and the rest of Voorheesville's guard corps will have to play well within Catellier's up-tempo offense in order to help the Blackbirds make another run at the Section II title.

"They are very hard working, they are decent outside shooters and they play very good defense," Catellier said of his guards.

Voorheesville's first goal will be to win the Colonial Council " a league that has been reshaped with the departure of Albany Academy, which will play an independent schedule this season.

"It's going to be different without Albany Academy," said Catellier. "Cohoes is going to be very good " they're probably the team to beat. Watervliet is going to be very good and Lansingburgh is always good."

Though there will be a transition period as some younger players get on the court, Catellier said he believes Voorheesville will be up there with Cohoes, Watervliet and Lansingburgh when then Colonial Council season ends.

"We will be competitive in it," said Catellier. "Obviously, we go into every season wanting to win the league, but I think we have a chance.""

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