The Voorheesville boys basketball team got an early jump on its Colonial Council competition.
With last Friday's 68-53 victory at Lansingburgh, the Blackbirds improved their league record to 4-0 and established a 11/2-game lead on the Knights, Cohoes and Watervliet.
We were hoping to get off on a good foot, said Voorheesville coach Don Catellier. "The kids have been working hard during the off-season."
The Blackbirds have been monsters on the glass, thanks to a veteran front line featuring center Ethan Mackey and forwards James Currier and Nicholas Crawford. Against Lansingburgh (2-1 league, 3-2 overall), Voorheesville pulled down 39 rebounds at both ends as it fended off an athletic Knights squad.
"We wanted to slow the tempo down and force them to shoot from the outside," said Catellier. "We did a good job of doing both things."
Mackey was also a major factor at the offensive end for Voorheesville. The 6-foot, 6-inch senior scored a game-high 27 points against Lansingburgh, with nearly half of those points coming at the free throw line where he made 13 of his 17 attempts. Mackey has averaged 22 points per game in the Blackbirds' first four games.
Senior guard Chris Castren added 13 points for the Blackbirds, who raced out to a 17-6 lead in the first quarter.
"They [Lansingburgh] played zone [defense] on us, but we moved the ball around well and got some good looks at the basket," said Catellier.
Voorheesville is now in the middle of an 11-day layoff before it hosts Mechanicville Dec. 22. During the Blackbirds' layoff, the rest of the Colonial Council will begin sorting itself out to determine which team will challenge them.
"It's nice to have some breathing room [now], but the bad thing about the Colonial Council is that you can't take a night off," said Catellier.