The Schenectady Christian boys basketball team picked the wrong night to go cold from the field.
The top-seeded Falcons made only 31 percent of its field goals including a 4-for-20 performance from behind the three-point arc in a 54-44 loss to No. 4 Voorheesville in Monday’s Section II, Class CC semifinals at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
They did a good defensive job, said Schenectady Christian coach Chad Bowman. `It was a shot-maker’s game, and we shot in the 20s. That’s not going to get it done at this level.`
Voorheesville’s defense presented a unique challenge to Schenectady Christian. With two big bodies in senior Evan Christner (6-4) and sophomore Ethan Mackey (6-5) clogging up the lane, the smaller Falcons had trouble driving to the basket or picking up rebounds. And with guards Macky Lloyd, Nick Kinisky and Kevin Klembczyk contesting shots from the perimeter, Schenectady Christian could not get comfortable from behind the three-point arc.
`We got our looks, and we had good shots,` said Bowman. `It was just a combination of both (solid Voorheesville defense and poor shooting).`
`We decided defensively to stop (Jake) Bowman and (Bryan) Bishop,` said Voorheesville coach Don Catellier. `Nick (Kinisky) did a great job on Bishop, and Kevin (Klembczyk) did a great job on Bowman.`
Schenectady Christian (17-3) built an early 11-6 lead on Voorheesville before the Blackbirds (14-6) went to work. Christner and Mackey each hit shots to cut the Falcons’ lead to one point late in the first quarter before Bowman hit a jump shot with 4.5 seconds left in the period to make the score 13-10.
That was Bowman’s last field goal of the first half, though, and it opened the door for Voorheesville to grab the lead for good. The Blackbirds scored the first eight points of the period with Christner and Mackey doing most of the damage. By halftime, Voorheesville had a 26-19 lead.
Schenectady Christian stayed within striking distance through the third quarter, but the wheels came off early in the fourth quarter. Klembczyk and Kinisky each drained three-pointers, and Christner added a short jumper to cap a 12-1 Voorheesville run that gave the Blackbirds a 46-32 lead.
The Falcons made a bid to get back in the game late in the fourth quarter. A three-pointer from Bishop and six points from Bowman sparked a 9-1 Schenectady Christian run that trimmed Voorheesville’s lead to 47-41 with 1:28 left.
`I love the competitive nature of our kids, and they showed enough poise to make a comeback,` said coach Bowman.
Voorheesville squelched Schenectady Christian’s comeback at the free throw line. The Blackbirds made eight of their 10 foul shots in the final minute to pull away for the 10-point win.
Christner scored 16 points and added 12 rebounds, while Mackey contributed 14 points and 11 boards for Voorheesville, which meets Mechanicville in Saturday’s class CC championship game.
Jake Bowman finished with 18 points to lead Schenectady Christian, despite shooting 6-for-19 from the field. Petar Serafimovski added 11 points.
`It’s a solid season,` said coach Bowman. `We respect Voorheesville. We respect everyone else, but I think they’re the most complete team in the CCs.`
The Falcons entered Monday’s game off a strong performance in a 73-32 quarterfinal victory over Hoosick Falls last Friday at University at Albany’s SEFCU Arena.
Schenectady Christian made 10 of its 16 shots in the first quarter to build a 24-5 lead, and the Falcons didn’t cool down in the second quarter as they went on a 19-3 run to open up a 53-8 halftime lead.
`I was really pleased with the intensity we played with through-out the game,` said coach Bow-man. `I was proud that our kids took their opponent seriously.`
Jake Bowman led Schenectady Christian with 21 points in less than three quarters of work. Serafimovski contributed 11 points, and Bishop added eight points.
Tanner Finney had eight points, and Kevin McMahon added seven points for Hoosick Falls.
Mike Cioffi contributed to the story. “