Some intriguing boys basketball match-ups loom tonight in the Suburban Council. Here is what’s going on around the league:
Schenectady (6-1, 8-1) at Shenendehowa (7-0, 7-0)
This is the game we’ve all been waiting for. Shen puts its undefeated league record on the line against a Schenectady team that just suffered its first loss of the season in gut-wrenching fashion — a three-pointer by Shaker’s Cameron Germaine with 4.3 seconds left for a 65-64 Shaker victory. Will the Patriots bounce back against Luke Hicks (22.7 points per game) and the Plainsmen in Shen’s home gym, or will the Plainsmen’s defense shut down Tyrone Jenkins (17.4 PPG), John Ryals (16.9 PPG) and company? This should be a good one.
Christian Brothers Academy (2-5, 2-8) at Shaker (5-2, 7-2)
This will be the night where CBA will truly miss Sloan Seymour, because the Brothers will be seeing their former swingman wearing Shaker’s blue and white uniform. Seymour (19.7 PPG) has teamed up with Jake Cook (17.8 PPG) to form one of the most formidable front courts in the Suburban Council, which in turn has helped the Blue Bison get into contention for a high seed in the Section 2 Class AA playoffs. Meanwhile, the Brothers have failed to find anyone to fill the scoring gap left when Seymour and Mike Wynn transferred out of the program following last season. Tonight will be a reminder of what CBA has lost.
Albany (4-3, 4-4) at Saratoga Springs (5-2, 6-2)
If Albany has any hope of pulling off this road win, the Falcons must contain Adam Anderson. The senior guard is coming off a 30-point night in Saratoga’s overtime victory at Troy, and the Blue Streaks have won four out of the five games this season in which Anderson has scored at least 20 points. It will be a tall order for Albany, but it can be done.
Averill Park (2-5, 4-6) at Guilderland (4-3, 5-4)
There is a small potential for an upset here. Averill Park has been fairly competitive in its games, and its defense has been good at times. The problem for the Warriors has been consistency, especially on offense. Guilderland doesn’t have that go-to scorer as it did with Andrew Sischo last year and Andrew Platek the two years before that. However, the Dutchmen do a pretty good job of spreading the offense around, which should be enough to help them get past Averill Park tonight. Just don’t be surprised if it’s a close game, let alone if Averill Park sneaks out of Guilderland with a win.
Ballston Spa (3-4, 4-6) at Colonie (5-2, 7-3)
This is another case where the visitors could pull off a win. Ballston Spa has a player who can take over a game (Josh Hipwell) and a supporting cast featuring a couple of players who can contribute (Zach Greenwalt and Christian Leva). What the Scotties need to do is slow down Colonie’s explosive offense — not an easy task when the Garnet Raiders have several weapons to choose from, such as Brendan Mulson, Isaiah Moll and Bryce Waterman. If this turns into a track meet, Colonie should win.
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (1-6, 1-9) at Bethlehem (5-2, 7-2)
Bethlehem is a team people need to watch down the stretch. The Eagles have already beaten Colonie and Shaker, they’ve had a close loss at Schenectady and were within striking distance of Shen with a minute left in regulation before the Plainsmen pulled away for an eight-point win. Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake could make things interesting tonight, especially if Benjamin Keppler (17.2 PPG) gets going, but Bethlehem should find a way to keep the momentum going.
Troy (4-3, 5-5) at Niskayuna (1-6, 1-8)
After losing in overtime to Saratoga at home Friday, Jan. 6, Troy could use a game it can dominate. Given the limited scoring ability Niskayuna has exhibited this season (the Silver Warriors have yet to break the 60-point plateau in a game), this is the game the Flying Horses need to get back on track.
Mohonasen (1-6, 2-7) at Columbia (0-7, 0-9)
Two of the worst teams in the league square off in East Greenbush tonight. Mohonasen holds the advantage here, if only because Duncan Tallman and Brandon Kruzinski have shown signs of being reliable shooters. Columbia has had no luck in that department.
Associate editor/sports editor