Granville sports round-up, May 18, 2023

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The Granville Unified basketball team won its first two games of the season. (Photo by Katie Barber)

Granville Unified starts season strong

The Granville Unified basketball team’s season is underway, and the Golden Horde is off to an impressive start with wins over Lake George and South Glens Falls.

In the season opener at Lake George, Granville put together a strong effort in a 40-24 victory.

Jasmine McMahon led the Golden Horde with 10 points. Zander Wilson contributed nine points, including one 3-pointer.

Brady Stewart and Connor Martin added six points each. Dean Angove had five points with a 3-pointer. Connor Martin chipped in six points and Devin Montbriand four.

Partner Players Natalie Walker, Eli Douglas and Gavin Mitchell also played a role in the win.

In the home opener against South Glens Falls, Granville earned a close 49-43 win.

Wilson had a huge game for the Golden Horde with 17 points and three 3-pointers. Martin added 10 points and McMahon eight.

Rounding out the scoring for the Golden Horde were Walker and Angrove with four points, along with Douglas, Montbriand, and Stewart with two apiece.

According to the Special Olympics website, unified sports join people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. It was inspired by a simple principle: training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding. In Unified Sports, teams are made up of people of similar age and ability.

Granville is now 2-0 on the season.

Horde’s regular baseball season perfect

The Granville baseball team finished off an unbeaten regular season with a pair of wins last week.

On Tuesday Granville defeated rival Whitehall, 15-1, in an Adirondack League matchup.

Senior Collin Norton got the start on the bump for the Golden Horde and held the Railroaders to three hits and one run in the first three innings. Logan Breton came on to pitch two innings of hitless relief in the game, which was shortened to five innings.

Brent Perry and Caleb Nelson led the Granville offensive attack with three RBIs each.

Perry tripled and recorded two hits on the day. Will Jennings also connected on a pair of hits. Norton and Nelson contributed doubles.

Trey Mason walked three times, scoring once for the Golden Horde. Mason also made two outstanding catches in center field.

Patrick Egan doubled for Whitehall. Tommy Barber and Jake Whiting added base hits.

Granville improved 9-0, 10-0. Whitehall fell 2-8, 2-8.

Granville completed its perfect regular season Wednesday with an 8-6 win over Fort Ann in Adirondack League baseball.

The Golden Horde led 5-0 after two innings and 8-1 after the fifth, but the Cardinals used a run in the sixth and four in the seventh to close the deficit.

Caleb Nelson had a solid performance both at the plate and on the mound. Nelson was the winning pitcher with an RBI and three runs scored. He also struck out seven and combined with Collin Norton on a three-hit shutout.

Norton was 2 for 4 for the Golden Horde and came on in relief to earn the pitching win. Perry added a triple and was intentionally walked twice for Granville.

Trey Senevey smacked a two-run double for Granville.

Drew Ladd, Tim Webb and Alejandro Stowhas singled for the Cardinals. Riley Barnes chipped in two RBIs.

Granville raised its mark to 10-0, 11-0. Fort Ann dropped to 7-3, 8-3.

Lake George edges Horde, 1-0, for title

Lake George sophomore Ben Sheldon kept the usually potent Granville bats off-balance for five innings before giving way to his brother Luke as they pitched a shutout over Granville, 1-0, in the Adirondack League baseball championship game Sunday at East Side Rec in Saratoga.

It was the first loss of the season for the Golden Horde and the third straight crown for the Warriors.

“It’s not a season-ending loss,” noted Granville coach Cory Burton. “We take it. We build on it. We work hard and show up ready to work for sectionals.”

Ben Sheldon baffled the Granville hitters for five innings. Even when the Golden Horde made solid contact it was right at Warriors’ fielders who made every defensive play. Luke Sheldon earned the save by preserving the lead over the final two innings.

“I was going to take him out after four but he said ‘I’ve got another one in me,’” coach Pete Puricelli said of Sheldon after the game.

“My curveball was hitting well,” Ben Sheldon said, “but I really just trusted my team. We had a lot of outs in the field, and I think that’s what made it.”

Meanwhile, Granville’s senior ace Caleb Nelson could not have been more brilliant. Nelson tossed a two-hitter with 15 strikeouts for the Golden Horde.

The only run of the game came in the top of the fourth, which Brody McCabe led off by reaching on an error. The speedy McCabe swiped second base to get in scoring position and Jack Welch then singled, advancing McCabe to third. McCabe plated the only run of the contest on a groundout by Nick Wagemann.

The Golden Horde threatened multiple times, but the Sheldons and the Lake George defense always had the answer. Will Jennings singled in the second with one out. Donnie Woodell reached base on a Warriors’ error, but Ben Sheldon got out of the jam with a strikeout.

In the fifth Collin Norton and Woodell singled to start the frame. Norton was thrown out at third after a Granville bunt attempt. The younger Sheldon got a strikeout and groundout to end the threat.

Alex Torres ripped a one-out single inside the first base line in the sixth, and Brent Perry followed by legging out an infield single. Jennings then hit a sharp liner that seemed destined for left field, but Gavin McCabe made the defensive play of the night with a diving catch for the second out.

RJ Monger reached on an error in the seventh with one away, but Luke Sheldon was able to close out the game with a pop-up and groundout.

It was a gut-wrenching loss for a Granville squad full of talented seniors who had been dominant all season.

“It’s baseball. We hit the ball right at people. And they got a couple of little dinkers that dropped in the right spot,” Burton said. “Unfortunately, somebody’s got to lose a game like this, and today it was us.”

Now Granville looks ahead to sectional play where they likely will be a top-three seed.

“We’ve got to turn it into a positive. It hurt those kids. No doubt. It hurt me. But it’s going to be fuel,” Burton added. “We’ll let it suck today. Then tomorrow it’s back to work.”

Lake George is now 10-3 on the season. Granville fell to 12-1.

Horde splits pair of softball games

Granville rounded out the softball regular season with a pair of Adirondack League crossover games last week, earning a split with Fort Ann and Argyle.

On Thursday Granville blanked Fort Ann 13-0 in a rematch of a game from a week earlier where the Golden Horde had to rally from seven runs down for a walk-off win. This time the outcome was never in question.

Ella Olsen earned the win in the circle for the Golden Horde, shutting down the Cardinal bats.

Granville pounded out 10 hits in the game. Jordan Chadwick and Hailey Barber both doubled for the Golden Horde.

Natalie Cody doubled for Fort Ann.

Granville improved to 6-5. Fort Ann fell to 2-8.

Argyle rallied to tie its game with Granville in the bottom of the seventh and then scored a run in the 10th to top Granville, 6-5, avenging a Scots’ loss to the Golden Horde earlier in the season.

Argyle scored three times in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings. Maddy Eldred then connected for the winning RBI on a sacrifice fly in the tenth.

Brooke Austin singled home the first run in the seventh, and Carrie Humiston singled in another run with two outs. The tying run came home when Kylee Humiston reached on an error.

Eldred also picked up the win in the circle, striking out 11.

Olsen went 5 for 5 and scored three runs for Granville. Lauren Bascom went 2 for 4 at the plate for the Golden Horde.

Bascom recorded 11 strikeouts for Granville.

Argyle is now 5-6. Granville is 6-6.