STAN HUDY – SHUDY@DIGITALFIRSTMEDIA.COM
Twin titles on Super Tuesday for the Shenendehowa boys and girls basketball teams after capturing Section II Class AA titles on the floor of the Times Union Center, March 1, 2016.
While most of America was glued to their new stations on their televisions, radios and mobile devices to follow the race for delegates in primaries across the nation on #SuperTuesday I had the privilege of taking part in a two important races of their own at the Times Union Center in downtown Albany Tuesday night.
A sportswriters dream, if he had three arms, two computers and the ability to stop time at will to complete every project available at his or her disposal, but it was a blast.
Shenendehowa continued the tradition in Section II of having a school crown both a boys and girls basketball chounil schooampion. The trend has occurred 11 times in the past 11 years with the only not twin win occurred in 2011 with 2012 seeing two schools take the honors, Watervliet (Class B) and Argyle (Class D).
Of note, the last Suburban Council schools to pull off the double feature was Class A competitors Averill Park in 2006 and Burnt Hills in 2005. (That’s from the programs at hand, so if there are more, don’t kill the messenger).
The Lady Plainsmen (we never use that) set the table for the men needing everything they had to turn back the Lady Falcons (ya, I did that) for the second time this season. In their first meeting Shenendehowa rolled Albany, 69-42, in Suburban Council action so Tuesday’s tip at the Times Union Center wasn’t set up as a nail biter, but both teams delivered.
The Plainsmen didn’t help their cause with a clunky first half, long passes thrown over their receiver, poor shooting, long range jumpers becoming passes or steals by Albany High. The Falcons took advantage and Shenendehowa Coach Joe Murphy wasn’t reaching for the Malox at the half. Once again he was the perfect coach, calm, direct and confident in his team.
It took a free throw followed by an inbound pass steal by Sydney Brown and subsequent foul to pull ahead and trips to the charity stripe led the Plainsmen to their second title in three years.
After last year’s heartbreak by the Shen squad, this year was all about unfinished business, redemption and more. Now the Plainsmen will take on Section III (Syracuse) champion Cicero-North Syracuse at Hudson Valley Community College noon on Saturday.
Here’s a link to the girls story in The Saratogian
With the table set it was time for the boys squad to add another check mark on their preseason list of goals, Suburban Council title – √ Undefeated regular season – √ Tuesday night, Section II Class AA title – √
Green Tech, ranked No. 12 in the March 1 New York Sportswriters poll brought their ‘A’ game and surprised the Plainsmen by hitting five three-pointers in the first half, something they hadn’t shown to date, that has been Shen’s bread and butter all year long. Combining that with a strong inside presence, the ability to get up and down the floor and looking to take down the No. 25 ranked team in the U.S. according to USA Today and No. 1 in the state, the Eagles took it to the Green Shirts Tuesday early.
Taking back a lead just before half on a 3-pointer by junior Luke Hicks and a bunny by senior Michael Gillooley, the second half was all Shenendehowa. The only thing missing was a monster dunk by Maryland-bound senior Kevin Huerter (I’ll never get tired or writing that).
Luke was the monster that Kevin was for his brother, Thomas, and that group of seniors, Drew Lewis, Erik Kromer, Matt Alverson and Brandon Fischer, coming up with big shots or key drives in the paint and getting fouled, anything to help his leaders out.
Hicks finished with 25 points, junior big man Mike Pizziketti had 12 points and 11 painful rebounds and Kevin Huerter dropped in a casual 15 points while leading his squad up and down the court and directing his group of hoops assassins on where to be to put the dagger in during the eventual 64-46 rout.
When it was done, patches were handed out and the boys took a well deserved seat on the bench. Coach Tony Dzikas walked up and got the Section II plaque and the boys were ready to take a picture. There wasn’t any running around with the Section II plaque, no kissing of the bronze emblem, just get the photo, get in the locker room and enjoy some time together.
STAN HUDY – www.stanhudy.com
The tradition continued of #SelfiesWithStan with the champs. It was truly a #SuperTuesday that I won’t forget. Congratulations Plainsmen boys and girls hoops, thanks for letting me be a part of it!
I can let you in that I will offer a hefty prize for any player who has video of the dance routine post-game celebration in the locker room!
Here is the link to the boys story in The Saratogian
Now the boys will take on Section III (Syracuse) champion Bishop Ludden 1:45 p.m. at Hudson Valley Community College Saturday, March 5.
I’ll be there once again hoping to catch another Shen sweep. I’m not sure if #SuperSaturday is a real thing, but we’ll see if the kids can make it happen again.
Until next time… Enjoy the Game!