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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Haggray Takes on Leadership Role for Schenectady Boys’ Basketball Team

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SCHENECTADY — After taking a‍ fall ‌and banging his ‌hip hard on the court, Schenectady ⁣senior Quy-Maine Haggray missed most of‌ the third quarter of Friday ⁤night’s⁤ Suburban Council basketball game with Averill Park.

While the Patriots were in ​control after an early⁢ push and eventually ‌won ‌60-43, during that ⁤third-quarter stretch they were outscored​ by the Warriors 9-6.

“We’re different‌ when he’s⁣ out there,” Schenectady coach John Miller said of Haggray, whose steal and⁣ layup kick-started ​a put-away fourth quarter by the ⁤Patriots. “He gives us so much ​in terms of offensive and defensive skill. He’s the general,‌ and the guys lean on that.”

As Schenectady’s only ‌returning starter, the 18-year-old Haggray has‌ embraced his role of leading a rather small but hungry team ‍that’s full of new faces.

“This year I knew I had​ to step ‌up. ‍Senior year,” Haggray said.⁣ “My role as a guard is⁢ to score⁤ — I can get a‍ bucket ⁢— but ​at the same⁣ time I am‌ looking to get my teammates involved.”

The 5-foot-10⁣ Haggray has been a consistent scorer with double digits in all ⁤but one game, a superb distributor of the⁣ ball, and a menace when the other team has the‍ ball. He had seven steals Friday and scored a team-high 18 points, seven⁢ of those​ coming in a 23-12 first-quarter⁢ run.

Miller said he had high expectations for the three-year varsity player, and that he’s surpassed them⁤ all in leading ⁤the Patriots to ⁤a 10-6 record.

“He’s doing⁢ the ‌same thing every night. Eighteen, 19 points, eight steals, about nine assists. He’s​ been so consistent,” Miller ‍said. “He’s​ leading by example. He’s showing grit and toughness. The way he plays is contagious.”

That is reflected in Schenectady’s active defense,​ with the⁢ quick and smart Haggray leading the cause.

“He is the best​ defender in the league.⁤ He’s fun to watch,” Miller said. “He sees​ it. He understands it. He⁤ processes it. He’s one or ​two ​steps ahead of everyone else.”

Haggray turned a steal⁤ into a layup and ⁤also picked up two assists in a key 7-2 spurt⁣ Friday that helped Schenectady ‌go up ⁢early.

“I like ⁤defense ⁤more than offense,” Haggray said. “I like the challenge.”

Haggray has done ‌some special things at the other end ‌this season, including a last-second layup that ⁤gave Schenectady a 55-54 win over Shenendehowa ⁣on Dec. ⁤5. On Jan. ‍12, he nailed eight 3-point baskets and totaled​ 29 points in an 82-78 win over⁤ Troy. When the⁢ Pats beat ⁣Troy 86-70 ‍back on⁢ Dec. 22,⁤ he had 14 points and didn’t make any 3s.

“The first ⁢time‌ we ‌played them my shot wasn’t going,” Haggray said. “The second time I got the ‍feel for it early. I hit‍ my first two [3-point attempts] and that ‌boosted the ‌confidence.​ I kept shooting. My teammates were behind me, boosting me up and telling me to shoot more.”

Haggray opened the season with a⁢ 24-point, 8-assist, 5-rebound effort in a 76-45 non-league win over Scotia-Glenville.

“That was a good game for me to start the‍ season,” said‍ Haggray, who sank five 3s that night. “I wanted to show ⁢the team that I ⁢can step up, ​and I wanted⁢ to see what guys were ⁤going ⁤to ⁢bring ‌it.”

Senior Mykai⁣ Anderson, juniors ‌Andre Jackson ⁤and Hector Torres, and sophomore Jordin Anderson have led Schenectady’s newcomers. Jackson is an emerging scoring star and has had games with 35, 30 and 27⁣ points.

“It’s my last year and I want to go out​ with a bang. We’ve got a ‍good team to do it,” Haggray said. “We’ve got to get a little better with our communication, our rotations [on defense] and boxing out.”

The Patriots didn’t do that in last season’s Section 2 Class AA tournament, when a putback basket‌ at the buzzer gave ‍Shenendehowa a 64-62 first-round win.

“My first goal is⁤ to get that first-round game,” Haggray said. “We ⁢had​ it, and we ⁣didn’t‍ box out.”

Schenectady has won three straight games and five of its ‌last seven heading into the final stretch of the regular season against Suburban ⁤Council foes Saratoga ⁢Springs, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, Guilderland and Shaker.

The Patriots will be competing afterward in‌ the Section 2 Class AAA tournament that will include Green Tech (Class AA champ in 2023 and⁢ 2022), CBA, Colonie, Albany, Saratoga, Shaker and ‌Shenendehowa.

MILESTONE WATCH

Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons junior Esiasyn ⁤Starr entered the week 13 points shy of 1,000 for his career, and got‌ his first crack at the milestone Monday when the Golden Knights⁣ hosted Mayfield. Starr has been ​a consistent ‌double-digit scorer, and put in 18 points when ND-BG beat Mayfield earlier this year ⁣70-61.

On Friday⁢ Carly Wise of Saratoga scored ‌36 points and reached 1,000 for her career in ⁤a 62-45 win over Guilderland. Ryan Carroll of Holy Names scored nine points including ⁢her 1,000th in a⁣ 61-24 win over Cohoes. Ben​ Kline of Burnt Hills-Ballston⁤ Lake netted ⁢10 points and got to 1,000 in a​ 65-44 loss to Shenendehowa.

Isaiah Smith of Schalmont, ​Stetson Merritt‌ of Troy, Jeff ​Mulhern of Duanesburg, Angelina Deitz of Bishop‍ Gibbons and Hailey Monroe of Northville ​are other recent 1,000-point‍ scorers.

3-POINT TALES

Hoosick Falls junior Carson⁤ Glover reached career highs ‌with eight 3-point baskets and 35 points in⁣ an 83-31 win over Greenwich⁤ Friday night. Glover nailed four of those 3s and collected 17 points in a 30-6 third-quarter run. His eight 3s are one shy of the Hoosick Falls one-game record.

STEVENS INDOOR CHAMP

Berne-Knox-Westerlo junior Katie Stevens is⁤ doing double duty this winter playing basketball and ‌running ⁣indoor track for the‍ Bulldogs, and recently earned a victory in the 45-meter dash at the Section 2 Independent League ‍championship meet.

Stevens was seeded No.‌ 1 in the ⁢45 with a 7.70, and won the title at Union ‌College‌ in 6.58. She is the BKW indoor ⁢record holder in ⁣the 45, 55, 300 and long⁣ jump.

On the ​basketball court ​Stevens is a ⁢defensive dynamo with a scoring‌ touch, and her efforts helped the Bulldogs (14-1) win the Western Athletic Conference Hudson Division title. She fired in a season-high 24 points when B-K-W beat WAC Mohawk Division champ Duanesburg in mid-December.

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Juniper Li
Juniper Li
Juniper Li, with her roots in documentary filmmaking, brings a unique narrative style to local news reporting. A graduate of NYU’s Journalism program, Ava has a keen eye for stories that capture the essence of community life. Her reporting often highlights local achievements and challenges, drawing on her experience in visual storytelling.
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2 COMMENTS

  1. Agree Great to see young athletes stepping up and taking on leadership roles! Excited to see what Haggray brings to the team.

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