Athlete of the Year: Shane O'Dell, Schalmont
The spring and summer months were mostly robbed from Shane O'Dell as he dealt with an ankle injury. The senior returned only briefly. But despite losing out on some key recruiting time, nothing was going to deny O'Dell from reaching his main goal for the 2019-20 season — winning a Section II Class B title.
"I was in a boot most of the summer," said O'Dell, referring to his right ankle injury where he tore ligaments. "I didn't play for a long time."
O'Dell made sure his three-year mission was concluded with the desired result as he delivered 22 points, 18 rebounds, seven blocked shots, three steals and two assists as Schalmont posted a 53-46 victory over Mechanicville in the Class B final at Cool Insuring Arena.
"Losing in the final twice, once with my brother (Jesse), and not having a team from the 体彩app官方网站 do it in 24 years meant a lot finally winning it," O'Dell said.
The Sabres started off slowly this season, losing their first two games against Albany Academy and La Salle and standing at 3-3 through six contests. As the 6-foot-5 standout began to regain his form, the team started to string together some impressive wins.
Overall, O'Dell tallied 30 points or more eight times — including 39 and 36 points, respectively, in wins against Class AA foes Shaker and Niskayuna — and surpassed the 40-point plateau on three occasions, highlighted by a 体彩app官方网站-record 45 points in a sectional victory over Coxsackie-Athens.
"He is going to go out and get every rebound and score a lot of points," Schalmont coach Greg Loiacono said. "Shane will take advantage of people that are a lot more athletic than him, but he is a lot more basketball-savvy than they are. If he had a big guy on him, he would go by him. If he had a guard on him, he would take him in the post. He knows how to use his body. Shane just finds a way. He is one step ahead of you."
The senior averaged 27.4 points, 18.5 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 4.1 blocks per game. O'Dell's final game ended up being a 37-point performance in a 75-63 state regional triumph against Ogdensburg Free Academy — an outing that pushed him past the 2,000-point plateau for his career.
"Shane was locked in during the playoffs," Loiacono said.
"That was never really important to me. I just wanted to win a championship so bad," O'Dell said. "We ran into two really good teams those first two years (against eventual state champions Mekeel Christian Academy and Glens Falls)."
O'Dell has yet to select a college destination, but Loiacono knows the senior standout will be a vital asset to the 体彩app官方网站 he ends up playing for.
"Whoever gets him is getting a winner and someone who will work every day to make the team better," Loiacono said. "Shane's versatility will definitely help him."
Royal Brown, Fr., Cohoes: Made an immediate impact in his first varsity season, scoring 35, 34 and 33 points, respectively, in his first three games for the Tigers. Brown, a first-team Colonial Council all-star, averaged 25.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. Brown knocked down 51 3-pointers and connected at 77.7 percent from the foul line.
J.J. Chestnut, Sr., Watervliet: The standout senior guard had a great deal more scoring responsibility following the season-ending knee injury to senior center Messiah Mallory. Chestnut, a first-team Colonial Council all-star, led the Cannoneers with a 25.2 points-per-game average. His most prolific outing of the season came when he tallied 39 points in an 81-66 win over Stevenson.
Lavon Fernandez, Sr., Catskill: Named the Patroon Conference's Most Valuable Player, Fernandez averaged 25.0 points, 9.8 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game for the Cats. The senior guard notched 30 points or more six times — highlighted by a 39-point performance in a 77-67 victory Jan. 26 against Hudson.
Zaveon Little, So., Voorheesville: Selected to the Colonial Council's first team, Little led the Blackbirds in scoring at 24.6 points per game. A first-team Colonial Council all-star, Little surpassed 30 points eight times, made 56 3-pointers and hit on 77.1 percent of his free-throw attempts.
Shane O'Dell, Sr., Schalmont: The Colonial Council's Player of the Year capped a brilliant career with 37 points in a 75-63 victory against Ogdensburg Free Academy. A three-time Times Union first-team selection concluded his scholastic career with totals of 2,024 points and 1,001 rebounds.
Coach of the Year
Greg Loiacono, Schalmont: Guided the Sabres to a third straight trip to the Section II Class B final, and this time led his squad to a 53-46 title victory over Mechanicville. Schalmont played an ambitious nonleague schedule and registered Class AA wins against Niskayuna, Shaker and La Salle to go along with an 11-0 mark vs. Class B opposition.
Jackson Atty, Sr., G, Fonda
Dayquan Griffin, Sr., F, Hudson
DeVon Haye, Sr., C, Catskill
Jon Kempf, Sr., G, Hoosick Falls
Ja'Nyve Smith, Jr., G, Bishop Maginn
Josh Germain, Sr., G, Mechanicville
Peyton Lufkin, Sr., G, Argyle
Zeke Pulliam, Jr., G, Berne-Knox-Westerlo
Jarett Williams, Sr., G, Granville
Tristan Williams, Sr., C, Hoosick Falls
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