Niskayuna youth hoops squads take titles

Members of the Niskayuna seventh-grade boys travel basketball team are shown Jan. 18 after winning their bracket of the Capital District Youth Basketball League's Martin Luther King Jr. Tournament. In the top row, from left, are James Schmidt, Peter Kelly, Luke DeBritz. and Nick Tellone; in the middle row, from left, are Sean St. Lucia, Sam Morra, Ethan St. Lucia, and Chris Erickson; and, in the bottom row, from left, are Tyler Gleason, Sam Cornish, and Justin Bateman.Members of the Niskayuna seventh-grade boys travel basketball team are shown Jan. 18 after winning their bracket of the Capital District Youth Basketball League's Martin Luther King Jr. Tournament. In the top row, from left, are James Schmidt, Peter Kelly, Luke DeBritz. and Nick Tellone; in the middle row, from left, are Sean St. Lucia, Sam Morra, Ethan St. Lucia, and Chris Erickson; and, in the bottom row, from left, are Tyler Gleason, Sam Cornish, and Justin Bateman.
Members of the Niskayuna seventh-grade boys travel basketball team are shown Jan. 18 after winning their bracket of the Capital District Youth Basketball League's Martin Luther King Jr. Tournament. In the top row, from left, are James Schmidt, Peter Kelly, Luke DeBritz. and Nick Tellone; in the middle row, from left, are Sean St. Lucia, Sam Morra, Ethan St. Lucia, and Chris Erickson; and, in the bottom row, from left, are Tyler Gleason, Sam Cornish, and Justin Bateman.

Members of the Niskayuna seventh-grade boys travel basketball team are shown Jan. 18 after winning their bracket of the Capital District Youth Basketball League’s Martin Luther King Jr. Tournament. In the top row, from left, are James Schmidt, Peter Kelly, Luke DeBritz. and Nick Tellone; in the middle row, from left, are Sean St. Lucia, Sam Morra, Ethan St. Lucia, and Chris Erickson; and, in the bottom row, from left, are Tyler Gleason, Sam Cornish, and Justin Bateman.

By MICHAEL KELLY
Gazette Reporter

NISKAYUNA — Three squads from the Niskayuna Youth Basketball Association won their brackets in the Capital District Youth Basketball League’s Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Tournament on Jan. 17 and 18.

Niskayuna’s teams for the fourth, fifth, and seventh grades won championships.

For the seventh-grade team, Sean St. Lucia had 15 points to help lead the club to a 40-39 victory against South Colonie in the title game, while Luke DeBritz added 10 points and blocked five shots. To make it to the title game, Niskayuna topped Schenectady, 52-43, as Sam Morra scored 14 points and Nick Tellone added a dozen.

In the fifth-grade championship, Niskayuna prevailed against South Colonie, 35-14, as Owen Evans scored 11 points, Darian Parker had 10 and Jack Allen added six. In the semifinals, Niskayuna topped Schalmont, 45-37, as Parker had a game-high 19 points, Danny Quinn had seven, and Chris Conners chipped in six.

For the fourth-grade club, Greyson Vorgang poured in 12 points in a 43-22 title game victory against Scotia, while the trio of Sam Booth, Saif Chowdhrey and David Trahan each had seven. Niskayuna advanced to the championship with a 40-8 win against Mohonasen in which Dylan Mennillo scored eight points, and the trio of Noah Castle, Caleb Goldberg, and Vorgang each had six.

Members of the Niskayuna fifth-grade boys travel basketball team are shown Jan. 18 after winning their bracket of the Capital District Youth Basketball League's Martin Luther King Jr. Tournament. In the top row, from left, are Ryan Funyak, coach Sean Compton, Gabe Eldaye, Jack Allen, Darian Parker, Conor Compton, Chris Conners, Derrick Niu, and head coach Dan Allen. In the bottom row, from left, are Danny Quinn, Tanner Wood, Davion Wimberly, and Owen Evans.

Members of the Niskayuna fifth-grade boys travel basketball team are shown Jan. 18 after winning their bracket of the Capital District Youth Basketball League’s Martin Luther King Jr. Tournament. In the top row, from left, are Ryan Funyak, coach Sean Compton, Gabe Eldaye, Jack Allen, Darian Parker, Conor Compton, Chris Conners, Derrick Niu, and head coach Dan Allen. In the bottom row, from left, are Danny Quinn, Tanner Wood, Davion Wimberly, and Owen Evans.

Meanwhile, the eighth-grade Niskayuna club went 1-1 at the tournament, falling to Guilderland in the semifinals, 50-43, and topping Scotia in the consolation game, 43-35. Against Guilderland, Jeff Halusic had 11 points, Nick Benton had 10, and Jack Murray added nine; against Scotia, Halusic had nine, while Tim Schaffer and George Tsakalakos each had eight.

The sixth-grade Niskayuna squad suffered narrow defeats in both its games, falling to Scotia, 52-49, and Ballston Spa, 36-34. Tyler Camelo had 14 points against Scotia, while Shae O’Brien had 12 and Leo O’Brien added 11; against Ballston Spa, Leo O’Brien had 10, Camelo had nine, and Jack Castle added eight rebounds.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

The Junior B team for the Niskayuna Girls Travel Basketball program kept rolling Jan. 18 when the squads took on teams from Saratoga Springs.

The Junior B team improved to 11-0 on the season with a 37-18 victory against a Saratoga Springs squad that dropped to 9-2. Leading the Niskayuna club on offense were Natalie Prian with 12 points, Emma Souky with 10, and Lila Conners with nine, while Kate St. Lucia collected eight steals on defense.

For the Junior A team, Madde Hesler and Jocie Hamilton — both playing on their birthdays — were the leading scorers for Niskayuna in a 50-34 loss, which dropped the club to 3-4.

For the Biddy A team, Maclin Seever had seven points and Olivia Olsen collected six in a 31-18 loss, which dropped the club’s record to 3-7. In the Biddy B game, Niskayuna received strong efforts from Franny Davis and Zoe Goodwin in a 17-11 loss that dropped the club’s record to 8-3.

Also, the Niskayuna fourth-grade team lost, 18-14, as Ailyin Rutnik had six points and Adelyn Farrel had four. Niskayuna moved to 6-3 for the season.

Members of the Niskayuna fourth-grade boys travel basketball team are shown Jan. 18 after winning their bracket of the Capital District Youth Basketball League's Martin Luther King Jr. Tournament. In the top row, from left, are coach Rand Booth, Greyson Vorgang, David Trahan, Owen Rutnik, Sam Booth, Adam Halpin, and coach Mike Vorgang. In the bottom row, from left, are Dylan Mennillo, Caleb Goldberg, Saif Chowdhrey, and Noah Castle. Missing from the photo is Jimmy Whelan. (Photo provided)

Members of the Niskayuna fourth-grade boys travel basketball team are shown Jan. 18 after winning their bracket of the Capital District Youth Basketball League’s Martin Luther King Jr. Tournament. In the top row, from left, are coach Rand Booth, Greyson Vorgang, David Trahan, Owen Rutnik, Sam Booth, Adam Halpin, and coach Mike Vorgang. In the bottom row, from left, are Dylan Mennillo, Caleb Goldberg, Saif Chowdhrey, and Noah Castle. Missing from the photo is Jimmy Whelan. (Photo provided)

About the Author

Michael Kelly
Michael Kelly is a sports reporter for Your Clifton Park and Your Niskayuna, weekly print publications of The Daily Gazette. Kelly grew up in Clifton Park and graduated from Shenendehowa High School in 2006. He is also a 2010 graduate of the Stony Brook University School of Journalism. Kelly's work has been honored by the New York News Publishers Association, the New York State Associated Press Association, and the Associated Press Sports Editors. His work has previously been featured in The (Amsterdam) Recorder, The Saratogian, and Albany Times Union.