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Boys basketball: Shaker, Bethlehem among favorites in Suburban Council

Season begins Friday with five divisional games

Niskayuna Silver Warriors

Head coach: Ian McShane

Key players: Connor Andrews (senior guard), Liam Byrne (senior forward), Brandon Fine (senior forward), Aaron Gordon (junior guard), Brent Oliver (senior guard), Michael Sise (junior guard)

Outlook: McShane said he’s seeking improvement from his Silver Warriors after they struggled in the North Division last year.

“We’ve got a little size, but more importantly there are some good shooters in this league, so we have to get out and play defense,” said McShane.

Saratoga Blue Streaks

Head coach: Jack Brock

Key players: Jesse Alexander (junior center), Noah Arciero (junior guard/forward), Chris Byno (sophomore guard), Jonathan Rach (senior forward), Nick Smith (senior guard/forward)

Outlook: The Blue Streaks started their season with victories over Glens Falls and Guilderland in their tip-off tournament last weekend, and Brock said he’s hoping the scrappy, gutsy style his players showed will carry through the regular season.

“It’s an awesome group. They’re hard working,” said Brock. “They’re a well-rounded group.”

Shaker Blue Bison

Head coach: Jeff Holmes

Key players: Dave Morrison (senior center), Chris Landers (senior forward), Zach Yakel (senior guard), Tyler Hoffman (junior guard/forward), Andrew Holmes (junior guard/forward)

Outlook: Holmes said this year’s Blue Bison could be his deepest squad in several years, in terms of talent.

“We think we can play different ways,” said Holmes. “We’ve got size, we’ve got quickness and we’ve got better shooters. We’re excited about our veterans and our flexibility.”

Shen Plainsmen

Head coach: Tony Dzikas

Key players: Jake Hicks (junior guard), Ted McCarthy (senior guard), Dylan Molloy (senior guard), Paul Sarapilio (senior forward), Drew Zlogar (senior forward)

Outlook: The Plainsmen must overcome the graduation of several starters from last year’s squad if they are to contend for the North Division title again.

“We’re very young this year, so we’re hoping we’ll be better in January than we are now,” said Dzikas.

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