As the regular season winds down, several valley varsity sports teams are preparing for what they hope are long runs into the sectional and state tournaments.
In basketball, five of the 10 local teams are ranked in the New York State Sportswriters Association polls that came out Jan. 28. Leading the way is the Elizabethtown-Lewis Lady Lions varsity basketball team, which is ranked seventh in girls Class D with a perfect 14-0 record. They are joined in that poll by Keene, who sits in 19th with a record of 11-3. The 10-2 AuSable Valley Lady Patriots are also ranked, positioned at number 11 in the Class C poll.
The Lady Lions have had a dominating season to this point, scoring 781 points throughout the 2012-13 campaign (55.8 per game) while allowing only 294 (21.0), owning the largest point differential of any valley school with a +487 (an average win of 34.8 points per game). The Lady Patriots have scored 613 points (51.1) while giving up 408 (34.0), a difference of +205 (17.1). Keene, meanwhile, has scored 582 points (41.6) while giving up 424 points (30.3) for a difference of +158 (11.3).
Willsboro, who scored their second win of the season against rival Westport to move their record to 7-9 with two games remaining, is barely in the red for scoring differential, having scored 534 points (33.4) while giving up 554 points (34.6), a difference of -20 (1.2). Westport, whose record dropped to 7-8, has kept games close to every opponent except Elizabethtown-Lewis, has scored 540 points (36.0) while giving up 668 points (40.6), for a -128 margin (8.5).
The Eagles do boast the leading girls scorer in the valley, as Brendee Russell has scored 210 points (14.0 PPG). Russell has connected on 77 field goals and leads the valley with 55 converted free throws. Russell also has the lone three-point field goal of the Eagles season.
Lily Whalen of ELCS has connected for 197 points (14.1) on a valley leading 79 field goals (first), 33 free throws (third) and six three-pointers. She is followed by teammate Shonna Brooks, who has 164 points (11.7) on of 64 field foals (third) and 32 free throws (fourth). AuSable Valley’s Meghan Strong leads the valley with 17 three-pointers and is fifth with 27 made free throws, scoring 160 points (13.3) on the season. Keene’s Naomi Peduzzi has scored 150 points (10.7), followed by Willsboro’s Kyli Swires, who ranks second in three-pointers made (14) and free throws (34) in scoring 148 points (9.3). AuSable Valley’s Taylor Saltus (11.8) and Willsboro’s Amanda Mahoney (8.8) each have scored 141 points on the season, while the Keene sister act of Tucker and Taylor Geiger each have 124 points to their names (8.9).
Following Strong and Swires in three pointers made are Kearsten Ashline of ELCS (12), along with AuSable Valley’s Madison Rondeau and Logan Snow (10).
For the boys, AuSable Valley (10-3) was named as an honorable mention in the Class C rankings of Jan. 28, while the Elizabethtown-Lewis Lions received the same recognition in Class D (12-3). The Patriots hold the biggest point-differential in the valley, having scored 775 points (59.6) against 624 (48.0) a difference of +151 (11.6). The Lions follow closely behind, scoring 721 points (48.1) while giving up 590 (39.3) for a +131 advantage (8.8).
The Westport Eagles (7-6), who have started to make a push up the Mountain and Valley Division I standings, turned an early season point deficit into a surplus, having scored 575 points (44.2) while giving up 548 (42.1) for a difference of +27 (2.1). The Willsboro Warriors (7-8) have scored 510 points (34.0) on the season, while the Keene Beavers (2-12) have scored 423 points (30.2), but have shown signs of improvement as the team has won two of its last four games.
Leading the valley in scoring is AuSable Valley’s Shane Douglas, who has connected on 105 field goals, 26 coming from beyond the three point arch, to go along with 31 free throws made for 267 points (20.5). Charlie Huttig of ELCS, who leads the valley in three-pointers (33) and is second in free throws (42), has scored 232 points (15.5).
Willsboro’s Nick Arnold currently ranks third in scoring with 226 points (16.1) while ranking first in free throws (44) and fourth in three pointers (14). However, Arnold will be sidelined for the rest of the season after injuring his leg last week.
Westport’s Ryan Davis is third in free throws made (34) and has scored 186 points (14.3). He is followed by Zac Noka-Bailey of ELCS who has 152 points (10.1), AuSable Valley’s John Goodnough with 146 points (11.2), Keene’s Colton Venner, who is tied with Davis at 34 free throws made and has scored 139 points (9.9). Zach Cosgrove of AuSable Valley has connected on 19 three-pointers (third in valley) and has scored 127 points (9.8), while Keene’s Gabe Warner has scored 119 points (8.5) and Willsboro’s Seth Swires 114 (7.6).
Austin Morris of ELCS is tied with Arnold with 14 three pointers made.
In bowling, the AuSable Valley boys team has collected 102 wins on the season, while Willsboro has 23. The Patriot’s Mike McDonald owns the highest single game (267) and series (730) between the two teams. In games, he is followed by teammate Josh Taylor (258), Willsboro’s Dakoda Latford (252) and Patriots Jimmy Provost (248) and Roger Preston (245). Latford holds the second highest series of the year with a 686 and is followed by Preston (638), Willsboro’s Tyler Bridge (610) and AuSable Valley’s Brandon Ano (603).
For the girls, Willsboro has claimed 36 wins on the season, with the Lady Patriots earning nine. The Warriors own the top five highest single games of the season with Gabi Yeager (226), Kaitlyn Arthur (217), Alyson Arnold (200), Emily Mero (170) and Lilly Kelly (167) followed by AuSable Valley’s Marissa Prentiss (161). The top series of the year so far belongs to Yeager (572), followed by Arnold (519), Arthur (472), Mero (444) and Prentiss (429).
In wrestling, Kenneth Rivers leads the Patriots in wins (14) and pins (10). Dylan Baker has recorded 12 wins, with Kodie Simpson earning 10 and Michael Thompson nine, six by way of pin.
Hank McCormick continues to rack up wins in the pool for the Patriots boys swim team, recently breaking the one minute barrier in the 100 butterfly and earning four wins in the last week. McCormick has also scored wins this season in the 200 medley, 100 backstroke and 100 breaststroke. Gavin Friedrich has also recorded wins for the Patriots in the pool in the 500 freestyle.
The AuSable Valley indoor track and field team has also seen its share of success, with Paul Ford winning each of the high jump events at the four league meets this season with jumps of 5’-8”, 5’-10”, 5’-10” and 6’-0”.
Ashlee Estes twice captured the high jump competition for the Lady Patriots with jumps of 4’07”, while scoring one win in the long jump with a mark of 15’-3”.
Note: Statistics, state rankings and records represent games and meets held through Feb. 3.