Ron Moshier - Sports

Friday, January 30, 2009

Moshier: More magic from Kramer

As a football quarterback, Ryan Kramer came close to leading Oneida’s Indians to a state championship. Now, the senior is trying to help his basketball team win a Tri Valley League West Division title.

 

Friday’s dramatic, 68-67 win at Notre Dame High School certainly was a giant step in that direction. The Indians bolted to an 18-4 lead, fell behind by five points early in the fourth quarter, and then rode Kramer’s heroics to a last-second victory.

 

In the last 61 seconds, Kramer scored Oneida’s last seven points, including a 3-pointer from NBA range, a twisting layup under extreme duress, and a 19-footer with two Notre Dame defenders draped all over him that beat the buzzer and the state-ranked Jugglers.

 

It was another dazzling display of Kramer’s willingness, and ability to make something happen in the heat of the moment. He did it on the football field and he’s doing it on the basketball court, helping the Indians maintain a one-game lead over Vernon-Verona-Sherrill in the TVL West.

 

On the same night VVS coach Al Knapp won his 520th game, tying him for the all-time Section III record, Kramer finished with 23 points and led Oneida to a victory that prevented VVS from tying the Indians for the TVL West lead. Notre Dame’s loss, meanwhile, helped Whitesboro take a half-game lead over the Jugglers in the TVL East.

 

Friday, January 23, 2009

Moshier: Economy gives Proctor, RFA hope

This time, the timing may be right for Thomas R. Proctor High School and Rome Free Academy.

 

The area’s two largest high schools have applied for acceptance into the Tri Valley League, with hopes of playing several sports at the varsity level. Enrollment figures still won’t help their cause, but the economy certainly will.

 

That’s the difference between now, and 13 years ago, the last time Proctor tried to convince Tri Valley League officials that it belonged. The cost of traveling to and from sporting events concerns more than Proctor and RFA these days. Considering the state of the union, not to mention state budget cuts, it’s something superintendents from the eight Tri Valley League schools will have to consider.

 

Despite their size advantage, the chances of Proctor and RFA joining the Tri Valley League in some capacity are better than ever (still not great, but better). In this economic climate, dollars and cents may trump winning and losing.

 

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Moshier: Young Proctor team's up, and coming

Thomas R. Proctor High School’s young boys basketball team may be a work in progress, but it looks as if the Raiders are making progress.

 

 Sure, they committed 30 turnovers in Tuesday’s Central New York Counties League game against Corcoran, but the first-place Cougars had 33 turnovers of their own. And, when push came to shove, it was Proctor that prevailed, 57-53 in an overtime nailbiter at the Michael J. Arcuri Athletic Complex.

 

Longtime Proctor head coach Norm Stamboly admits, “you don’t know from game to game” what you’re going to get, but for the second time in as many weeks his Raiders handed a division-leading CNYCL team its first league loss (they won at Liverpool last week).

 

Stamboly started three sophomores against Corcoran, and another sophomore who played for last year’s unbeaten freshmen team, 6-foot-3 forward T’Andre Richardson, was most impressive off the bench. He scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Junior Rahmel Brown added 12 points and 11 rebounds, and sophomore Walkery Mills had 10 points and eight rebounds for Proctor.

 

At 4-3, it will be difficult for the Raiders (7-7 overall) to claim a fourth consecutive league title. Still, there appears to be no Class AA powerhouse in all of Section III this season, so don’t be surprised if this young, up-and-coming Proctor team makes some noise come playoff time.

 

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Moshier: SUNYIT's "Gumby" more than a scorer

Former Holland Patent hoop star David “Gumby” Golembiowski, the spindly, 6-foot-7 sharpshooter who leads the SUNYIT men’s basketball team in scoring, proved he is more than just a scorer during the Wildcats’ 71-50 win over Cortland State on Friday.

 

Golembiowski did score a game-high 19 points, hitting exactly his average, but it was his rebounding that really helped SUNYIT stretch its winning streak to five games. Against a big, physical Cortland team, the Barneveld sophomore more than held his own inside, grabbing a game-high 17 rebounds, 14 of them defensive.

 

Yes, “Gumby” can do more than stretch defense. He still looks like he could stand to beef up a bit, but he’s long and athletic, and if he can rebound like that, and continue to be a long-range threat offensively – he had seven 3s and 44 points in a recent victory – that Jan. 27 home game against crosstown rival Utica College ought to be a dandy.

 

Monday, January 12, 2009

Moshier: Pay-to-play Empire State Games won't last

The bloom was already off this rose. Now that Scholastic Division athletes will have to shell out $285 to compete, the Empire State Games might just wilt away to nothing.

 

For the first time since the Empire State Games began in 1978, high school athletes will be charged to participate in the Scholastic Division. The state also plans to do away with the Open (college-age and older) and Masters divisions.

 

The cuts are reportedly part of a reduction in New York State’s parks and recreation budget, and the entry fee for high school athletes will almost certainly turn off a large number of would-be participants.

 

Many of the state’s best young athletes already were skipping the Empire State Games, instead choosing to attend summer camps, or play in summer leagues – like AAU basketball, for instance. That has hurt the quality of the games. Asking athletes to try out for a pay-to-play Empire State Games certainly won’t help.

 

Don’t be surprised if it leads to their extinction.

 

Moshier: No Burress? No excuse!

Yes, in the bitter end to a season that got off to an 11-1 start, the New York Giants sorely missed Plaxico Burress. Without a doubt, his absence was a factor in Sunday's playoff loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. But was it the reason why the Giants lost to the Eagles? Absolutely not.


Don't pin this one on Burress. On this day, the Giants, the other Giants, had only themselves to blame. Penalties, two of them in particular (both on punt returns that would have given them great field position), contributed to the Giants' demise. And playing with the wind, or against it, Eli Manning looked more like Jake Delhomme did Saturday night than the Super Bowl quarterback who last year was nearly playoff-perfect.

When Manning finally did connect on a third-and-long pass, he had to call a timeout to avoid a delay of game penalty, and any momentum the Giants did have, was long gone. Manning, the offense in general, and some questionable play-calling that had the Giants trying to run East and West instead of North and South, let down a defense that dominated the first half, and certainly played well enough to win most games.


Unfortunately for the Super Bowl champions and the Giants' fans, this wasn't most games. As well as the Eagles' defense played, it was David Akers (Ahmad Bradshaw) and Kevin Curtis (Fred Robbins) who made the touchdown-saving tackles that helped send Philadelphia to the NFC Championship Game.


Granted, without Burress, these Giants probably wouldn't have won another Super Bowl title. But going one-and-done in the playoffs? That had little to do with who didn't play for them Sunday. With the season on the line, it was the other Giants who shot themselves in the foot.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Moshier: Unbeaten Mustangs pass test

Tuesday night’s Center State Conference crossover between the last of the area’s unbeaten boys basketball teams, Mount Markham and Mohawk, lived up to the hype. So did Mount Markham’s Josh Pugh and Mohawk’s John LeClair.

 

Pugh scored eight of his 23 points in the final 3:18 to lead Mount Markham to a 61-55 win at Jarvis High School. LeClair, Mohawk’s all-time scoring leader, scored 32 points and raised his career total to 1,028.

 

Now, Pugh and Mount Markham’s battle-tested Mustangs will be put to the test again Thursday night, when they travel to Cooperstown for a first-place showdown between two state-ranked, CSC Division II teams.

 

The Redskins, ranked No. 9 in the state in Class C, beat Herkimer in overtime on Tuesday, raising their record to 9-1. Both Cooperstown and Mount Markham, ranked 20th in the state’s Class B poll, are unbeaten in the league.

 

“I just told them to enjoy the moment, that this is good for us, to go through some adversity in a loud gym,” said Mount Markham coach Bob Bentley after his Mustangs, who had lost a 10-point lead in the third quarter, turned back Mohawk with a late 12-1 run.

 

LeClair, determined to take the ball to the basket no matter what – “He’s good at it, too. He finds a way,” said Bentley – certainly made the Mustangs earn Tuesday’s win.

 

“John’s a great competitor, and I’m happy for the kid,” said Mohawk coach Luke Judd, who presented LeClair with the game ball when he scored his 1,000th career point. “When you look at the bigger issue, though, I’m sure if he could give that (milestone) up and win the game, I think he would be happier.”

 

“He’s tough,” Pugh said of LeClair. “He’s quick, and he can handle the ball. You’ve got to have five people looking for him all the time.”

 

Thursday night in Cooperstown, Pugh and the Mustangs will have the Redskins’ Ryan Davine and Brad Ashford to contend with, and remaining the area’s only unbeaten team will not be easy.