St. John Fisher College’s Mary Kate Cusack of the women’s basketball team has been named as the College’s Female Athlete of the Week for the week ending December 9, 2012.
In a 2-1 week for the Cardinals, Cusack came off the bench and averaged 13.3 points, 3.7 steals and 2.3 rebounds, while knocking down nine 3-pointers. Her biggest 3-pointer of the week came on Friday night, as the freshman guard swished a shot with 1.0 seconds left in overtime to give her team a 66-64 win over visiting Elmira College.
Cusack started the week off by tallying 18 points and seven steals (both career-highs) in a 63-43 win over visiting Alfred University on Tuesday.
She finished the week off by scoring 10 of her 16 points in the second half in an 87-82 loss in double-overtime at Rochester Institute of Technology on Sunday in a game that saw the Cardinals battle back from an 18-point deficit in the final nine minutes of regulation.
For the season, Cusack is averaging 9.5 points and leads the team in both steals (26) and 3-pointers made (16). Fisher (5-6 overall, 2-0 Empire 8) will return to action on January 4th at Utica College.
The Sparks Fall 7 & 8 Grade Team won the Mass Premier Challenge on October 13th & 14th, 2012. The Team competed in the 9th Grade Division. The Sparks finished second in Pool Play going 2-1.
They lost the opening game 40-39 to the Central Mass Hawks, then defeated Mass Premier 8th Grade 44-38 and Mass Premier 9th Grade 56-53.
Finally they came back and beat the Central Mass Hawks in the Championship game by a score of 45-41.
The Sparks would like to announce that Syndie Rosales has chosen to play her college basketball at Marist College in Poughkeesie. Sydnie had scholarship offers from almost 50 colleges. Sydnie has had a storied career with both the Sparks and Colonie High School.
Syndie first played at the varsity level in the 7th grade during the Sectionals. She has continued on the Colonie Varsity since that time. Last year as a junior she averaged 15 points per game 3.5 assists, 2.8 steals, and 3.3 rebounds while leading her team to a Sectional II Title. She was selected 1st Team Suburban Council, 12th Team All-State, 2nd Team Large Schools and News Channel 13 All-Star. She was also named MVP of the Sectional Tournament
As a Spark, Sydnie was MVP of the Gym Rat Challenge. She also helped her Sparks team to a 2nd place finish at the National AAU Tournament by leading in scoring, steals and being second in assists and rebounds. She was also elected team captain. As a Spark she averaged double digits in scoring including 112 three pointers.
Sydnie is also an A student who currently has a 94.045 average.
AAU team features several of the top high school juniors in Section II
By Rob Jonas
Some of the top Section II girls basketball players proved they are among the nation’s best players.
The Saratoga Sparks 16-and-under team placed second at last week’s AAU National Championships in Orlando. The Sparks reached the finals before losing to the LA Angels of Louisiana 53-46.
“The girls have worked hard, and they’ve played together for three years now,” said Sparks head coach Carlin DeMarinis. “It was time for them to make that run.”
The Sparks feature a who’s who of junior talent in the Capital District. Sydnie Rosales and Jaclyn Welch represented Section II Class AA champion Colonie on the 12-player roster, while Class B champion Watervliet had Ailayia Demand, Mikayle Deguire and Lashana Tolliver on the team.
“I think we really enjoy the summers playing together,” said Rosales. “We’ve grown to love playing together, and our level of play has expanded as a result.”
“When we first came together in our freshman year, we weren’t sure of each other and we didn’t talk much,” said Welch. “Now, we get along great.”
Other players on the team include Bethlehem’s Bridget Murphy, Scotia-Glenville’s Cassie Broadhead, Shaker’s Madison Rowland, Shenendehowa’s Alyssia Marsal and Ballston Spa’s Sydney Hansen.
“It’s almost like a coach’s dream to have all these all-stars from Section II on one team,” said DeMarinis.
The Sparks didn’t have Broadhead for the championship game against the LA Angels because her Mormon religion forbids physical activity on Sundays, but Murphy stepped up and scored 20 points to lead the way.
“It’s unfortunate that we didn’t have Cassie, but it was time for some of the other girls to step up. That’s what Bridget Murphy did,” said DeMarinis. “She played like Cassie out there.”
“We tried to pick up our play as much as we could without Cassie,” said Rosales.
The Sparks began the five-day tournament in style by beating their three opponents in pool play. They defeated Girls Got Game from Florida 56-52 in last Tuesday’s opener, and they followed up with a 50-29 victory over Team Reign from North Carolina and a 51-44 win against the Region Lady Bulldogs from Indiana.
Julia Zachgo has loved the game of basketball since she was introduced to it in the 3rd grade through the Clifton Park Recreation Program. She has had so many wonderful experiences and great coaches along the way. She would love to play for her high school team at Shenendehowa some day. I admire how much time and energy she puts into practicing and improving her skills. She is a very dedicated player. If it weren't for the Sparks organization and the friends she has made I don't believe she would love the sport as much as she does. Her father and I just love watching Julia and her team play. GO SPARKS!
After spending her entire AAU career with the Saratoga Sparks, Mary Kate Cusack has decided to show case her talents in the Empire Eight Conference as a member of the Cardinals of St. John Fisher College. The Shen senior plans on studying nursing.
The 2012 New Channel 13 All-Star had a sensational career both with the Sparks and with the Plainsmen of Shenendehowa. Mary Kate played on several Sparks teams that competed at National Tournaments and other high profile events. It was during these tournaments that she was noticed by dozens of coaches and offered numerous opportunities to play basketball.
At Shen, Mary Kate average 13.4 points a game and shot an incredible 48% from the floor. She will be best know from her pressure defense and leadership skills.
The Sparks organization is very proud of Mary Kate and wish her luck as she moves into the college ranks. We would also like to thank her parents for all the time and talent they dedicated to both Mary Kate and our organization.
The Sparks would like to congratulate Emily Weber from Shenendehowa High School
and Ailayia Demand from Watervliet High School. The two Sparks were each named large and small school players of the year by the Times Union.
Both players are outstanding high school athletes who honed their skills with the Sparks. Senior Weber will be going to Division I Canisius in the fall on a full athletic scholarship. Ailayia led her team to a Class B sectional title this year.
In addition the Sparks would also like to congratulate Sydnie Rosales of Colonie, Mary Kate Cusack of Shenendehowa, Cassie Broadhead of Scotia and Lauren Woods and Madison Rowland of Shaker for being named to the Large school All-Star first team. Sparks Amanda Batzold of Columbia, MacKenzie Rowland of Shaker and Bridget Murphy of Bethlehem were also named to the Second Team Large School All-Stars.
In the Small School Division, Mikayla Deguire of Watervliet and MyAsis Alston of Cohoes were each named to the First Team. In addition, Lashona Tolliver of Watervliet and Sophomore Jenna Erickson of Tamarac were each named to the second team.
Congratulations to all these Sparks for their efforts and achievements both in high school and AAU.
The Sparks are proud to announce that Sydnie Rosales has been named a New Channel 13 All-Star. Sydney Rosales has been playing basketball for as long as she can remember. The Colonie High and Sparks guard already has an impressive list of achievements. As a Spark, she's been named MVP of the Gym Rats tournament and helped her team to two AAU top ten National finishes. She has been the leading scorer on an incredibly talented Sparks Team.
Rosales who just completed her fourth varsity season with the Red Raiders and is being sought after by more than forty Colleges. Just a junior, Rosales hit 50 three pointers, averaged 12 points a game was over a 75% free throw shooter for Colonie.
Perhaps what's most impressive about Sydnie is the enjoyment she gets from setting up her teammates for good shots. Coach Mingione calls Sydnie the ultimate team player saying: "She can score, rebound, pass and is completely unselfish"… Finally, she has maintains a 96% grade average while accomplishing all of this.
Roxanne Gibbs is a senior on the Cohoes Basketball team and averages a double-double per night. She overcame a potentially serious injury to get back with her team for the culmination of her senior season.
Madison Rowland is 5-9 Senior Guard from Shaker who is averaging 14 points and 5 5 rebounds per game. She is a 90 student who is being recruited by New Hampshire, Vermont, Delaware and UAlbany
The Saratoga Sparks would like to congratulate Mary Kate Cusack, Cassie Broadhead and Emily Weber. Each have been named as News Channel 13 Allstars and all three are long time Saratoga Sparks. The organization takes great pride in all of them and each of their individual accomplishments.
We will have more details on each of their stories in the coming days, and will continue to watch as more awards are revealed.