2017-18 High School Boys Basketball Preview: Shooting For Success
Braves, Rams, Wolfpack off to unbeaten starts this season
Early in the new season, three area boys basketball teams are off to perfect starts.
Fonda-Fultonville, Amsterdam and Oppenheim-Ephratah/St. Johnsville are all unbeaten thus far this season.
The Braves and Wolfpack are both 4-0, while Amsterdam is 3-0.
Mayfield and Galway each have three wins so far this season, with the Panthers 3-2 through five games under new coach Jon Goodemote, while the Golden Eagles 3-3 through six contests.
A pair of first-year coaches are still seeking their first win, as Canajoharie’s Rob Fairley is 0-5 and Dolgeville’s Shane Morrill is 0-3.
After posting a 7-14 overall record last season, Gloversville returns several key contributors as it looks to improve its record.
“Over the last several months, our group of boys have really come together and built a strong bond. They play hard and they play together,” Gloversville coach Aric Kucel said. “The key for us this year, is going to be our ability to defend and rebound.”
The Dragons lost Josh Nails (12 ppg, 10 rpg), Sam Poulin ( (8 ppg, 4 rpg, 3 apg) and Aidan Barnhill from last year’s team. Nails was a third-team Foothills Council all-star.
Gloversville returns Dante Bouchard, Joey Rowback, Esean Brown, Broderick Royal, Buck Galster and Anderson Jones from last year’s squad.
Dante Bouchard, who was named a third-team Foothills all-star in 2016-17, averaged 14 points per game last season, while Rowback averaged 9 points and 6 rebounds per game.
“We’ve got two guys who can really score it, in Dante Bouchard and Joey Rowback. They have been really good at stretching defenses out with their ability to shoot the ball and can also attack off the dribble,” Kucel said. “Broderick Royal, Esean Brown, and Anderson Jones are excellent at creating for themselves and others and are also very good shooters.”
Newcomers Julien Deumaga, Andre Stanfield, Jeremy Lombardoni, Patrick Raldiris round out the Dragons’ roster.
“Julien Deumaga is a first year varsity player and is a threat on the offensive end. We have really good balance on the offensive end of the floor,” Kucel said. “Buck Galster is our glue guy, he brings a toughness that we need and does all of the little things that bring our team together. I’m really excited about the growth in Andre Stanfield, Patrick Raldiris, and Jeremy Lombardoni. They have been getting better every day and bring great value to our team. We have set high goals for ourselves, and we’re excited to try to achieve them together.”
The Sir Bills lost several key contributors from last season’s team and are looking to their returning players to fill the void.
Johnstown lost Jacob Billa, Nick Frasier, Brandon Mraz and Ben Wager to graduation from last year’s squad, which went 8-13 overall.
Wager was a third-team Foothills Council all-star for the Sir Bills.
Returning for Johnstown are Matthew Boyle, Tyler Bump, Josh Hoyt, Trevor Porter and Adam Wilson. Boyle was a third-team Foothills Council all-star last season. Newcomers Jarell Castillo, Keegan Feinour, Anthony Frasier, Noah Massey, Victor Orsell, Trey Stover and Ethan Wager round out the Johnstown roster.
“We are excited about competing in the Foothills Council and are eager to make a run in the Class B tournament. We have size, athleticism and senior leadership,” Johnstown coach Matt Guzielek said. ” We return our top scorer from last season, but we are looking for other players to contribute in that area to make our team tough to guard. Our keys will be our chemistry and the ability to limit turnovers and rebound.”
In his 14th season as B-P boys coach, Tucker Gifford has added coach the girls varsity team to his duties this winter.
On the boys side, Gifford will look to fill the void left by the departures of Preston Taylor, J.P. Person, Joey Ladipo, Justin Shannon and Jordan Shannon.,
Taylor (17 ppg, 8 apg) was a first-team Foothills all-star last season, while Ladipo (16 ppg) was named to the second team.
Returning from last year’s team are Troy Monroe, Lucas Coon, Glenn Buyce and Dante Calderone. Monroe averaged 10 points per game for the Patriots last season.
Newcomers Bobby Munn, Blake Leonard, Jackson Sassanella, Brodryk Benton, Nick Geren and Bryant Palmer round out the B-P roster.
“This year’s team will give 100 percent effort and looks to improve night in and night out,” Gifford said. “We will develop, grow, and compete as a team throughout the season. “
After winning the Foothills Council South Division last season, the Rams will look to replace Anthony Aponte, Dale Stanavich, Robbie Spagnola, Jah’leel Muhammed and Devon Valentin.
Aponte was a first-team Foothills Council all-star last season, while Stanavich was named to the second team.
Amsterdam, which went 12-9 overall, returns Willie Brown, Louis Fedullo, Tristan Green and Osvauldo Dejesus.
Ryan Bradt, Andrew Giamio, Deanthony Colon, Justin Sailley, Kevin Perez, Devin Villa-Valles, Anthony Barone-Lopez and Jeff Brennan are all new to the Rams’ roster.
“We are looking to get better every day,” Amsterdam coach Tim Jones said. “The group is jelling nicely.”
Entering his 18th season, Fonda-Fultonville coach Eric Wilson has his team off to a 4-0 start this season after posting just four wins in a 4-16 campaign in 2016-17.
The Braves lost Dan Parslow (18.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg), Stiven Florez (7.1 rpg) and Travis Geniti (4.2 ppg) from last year’s team.
Parslow was named a first-team WAC all-star last season.
Nik Couture, who averaged 13.9 points and 7.9 rebounds per game last season, returns for FFCS, along with Jackson Atty, John Mancini, Nick Oertel, Terrance Pierce and Massimo DiCaprio. Atty missed last season with an injury, while Mancini played half of the season.
Newcomers Angelo Canale, Mitch Araya, Josh Coyne, Andrew Georgia, Al Mancini, Scott Valachovic, Jonathan Flander, Tyler Blowers and Dylan Hamlen round out the Braves’ roster.
After posting a 13-8 overall record last season, the Panthers will look to replace Brendan Gifford, Jared Albertin, Brian Bentley, Hunter Young, Geoff Tinney and Derek Jackson from last year’s team.
The Panthers also have a new coach in Goodemote, who takes over for Harley Fuller. Goodemote inherits a team that returns Garret Delaney, Tommy Gates, Trevon Gifford, Kyle Dingman.
Delaney and Gifford were second-team WAC all-stars last season.
Newcomers Anthony Yuret, Joe Ward, Josh Wasson, Max Insogna, Daniel Leach, Walker Goodemote and Evan Lehr round out the Mayfield roster.
“The players are working very hard. Our returning players have been showing good leadership in practice,” Goodemote said. “Our team success will be based on how well we trust each other, and ball movement that leads to quality shots.”
The Falcons lost just two players from last year’s team, but both were key contributors to the Falcons’ 12-8 overall record.
Danny Reidell and Dan Ryan are gone from the Northville roster. Reidell averaged 22.9 points per game last season for the Falcons and was named the WAC Mohawk Division Most Valuable Player.
Returning this season for Northville are Lucas Jetty, Michael Kalkbrenner, Nate Reidell and Andy Klingbeil. Jetty was named a second-team WAC all-star last season.
Jordan Milewski, T.J. Wadsworth, Ryan Snell, Brandon Monfils, Kyler Frasier and Gerry Eckerson are all new to the Northville squad.
“We have four players who started on the varsity basketball team at some point last season and six players with no real varsity experience,” Northville coach Jon Karbowski said. “Our success this year will be dependent on the leadership of the returning players and the work ethic of every athlete on the team. I am very pleased with the focus and hard work so far. The team has set high goals that I am confident we can reach if we stay focused and disciplined throughout the entire season.”
In his first season as Cougars’ coach Fairley will look to replace the contributions of Trevor Folts, Mike Hartlieb, Lucas Sossei and Chris Shariff.
Hartlieb, who averaged 13 points and nine rebounds last season, was named a first-team WAC all-star for Canajoharie, which posted a 13-9 overall record a year ago. Folts and Sossei each averaged 10 points per game last season for the Cougars, while Shariff averaged six points.
Luke VanSlyke, who averaged 10 points and seven rebounds for Canajoharie last season, returns.
Newcomers Griffen Collins, Christian Herget, Kadon Hohensheldt, Isaiah Logan, Alex Rhinehart, Nick Shariff and Brandon Wolfkiel complete the Cougars’ roster.
“It’s going to be a learning curve this season for both the players and I with this being my first year as a varsity coach,” Fairley said. “I’m looking forward to the challenge and excited about the upcoming season.”
After going 2-18 last season, Fort Plain already is 1-2 in its first three games this season.
The Hilltoppers lost Nate Florian from last year’s squad, but return Jacob Hisert, Jaxson Yacowenia, Cameron Dillenbeck, Hunter Logan, Garret Nare, Dawson Nare and Bryce Thibodeau
Newcomers Danny Kilmartin, Isiah Norton, Adan Vasquez, Jalen Hall, Dayton Handy, Ethan Spaulding, John Kiernan and John Cortese round out the Hilltoppers’ roster.
“We’re working hard to be more competitive than last year,” Fort Plain coach Casey Russom said.
After posting a 5-16 record last season, Galway returns all five starters for the 2017-18 campaign.
Thor White, Mike Sowle, Tanner Williams, Jake Restivo and Erik Matthews all return for the Golden Eagles.
White was a first-team WAC all-star last season after averaging 19.8 points per game last season. White has already surpassed the 1,000-point mark for his career, hitting the mark earlier this season.
Newcomers Erik Malanoski, Christian Hines, David O’Connell, Ryan Lovelass round out the Galway roster.
Entering his 15th season as coach, OESJ’s Jason Brundage will look to replace A.J. Hayes, Aidan Eggleston, Chris Johnson, Mike Smith, Nick Papura and Tyler Brado from last year’s team.
Hayes was a first-team WAC all-star for the Wolfpack, who went 15-8 overall last season.
OESJ returns Devyn Jones, Tyler Leon, Zach Mosher, Jack Brundage, Elias Sanchez and Dustin Dolder from last year’s team. Jones was a second team WAC all-star last season.
Newcomers Jaedyn Logan Dillenbeck, Colton Cooper, Nick Grant, Eliah Cinelli, Seth Meyers, Deegan Eggleston, Chris Martin complete the Wolfpack roster.
“We hope to improve defensively as a team, as we lost a horse in A.J. Hayes,” coach Brundage said.
After posting an 11-10 overall record last season, Wells heads into the new season with plenty of optimism as all five starters return.
The returnees include Justin Foster, Tre Zimmerman, Ryan Bolebruch, Shane Kennedy, Coby Stuart and Jordan Biderman.
Foster was a first-team Mountain and Valley Athletic Conference all-star last season, while Kennedy and Zimmerman were named to the second team. Ryan Bolebruch was an honorable-mention selection for the Indians.
Rounding out the Wells roster are newcomers Tyler Bolebruch, Rob Zemken, Cameron Knowlton, Byron Stuart, Ethan Ross, Mychal White, Sabastian Beach and Tucker O’Connor.
“We are returning all five starters and think we should end up at the top of our division in our league,” Wells coach Adam Clute said. The newcomers give us depth that we didn’t have last year.”
Center State Conference
The Blue Devils have nowhere to go but up after posting a 1-19 overall record last season.
Morrill takes over a Dolgeville squad that lost R.J. Bailey, Cole Benson and Riley Nagle to graduation.
The Blue Devils return Zack Smith, Aaron Miller and Brandon Link from last year’s squad. Smith was named a second-team Center State Conference all-star last season.
Newcomers Zack Carpenter, Austin Green, Dylan Walrath, Brett Hogan, Matt Maine and Steve Voight complete the Blue Devils’ roster.
“We’re looking to build from last year, and be competitive in every game. We’ve got some good kids and it should be fun watching them grow and develop,” Morrill said. “I believe we have some talent and if it can learn to play better together, we may have an outside shot at sectionals.”