Blue Streaks win slow, low scor­ing con­test for 18th straight win

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - SPORTS - By Stan Hudy @StanHudy on Twit­ter

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. » The only con­stant Tues­day night in the Saratoga Springs boys var­sity Sub­ur­ban Coun­cil fi­nale against Shaker was the win. The Blue Streaks earned their 18th con­sec­u­tive win in its low­est scor­ing con­test of the sea­son, with the low­est to­tal points to­tal be­tween two op­po­nents and hit just four three-point­ers on the night.

It wasn’t a lot, but it was enough to hold off Shaker, 38-35, on Saratoga’s se­nior night as the num­ber Sub­ur­ban Coun­cil seed gets ready for the post sea­son be­gin­ning next week.

Shaker (10-7 Sub­ur­ban Coun­cil, 12-7 over­all) opened the con­test with a 6-1 run be­fore Saratoga (17-1 league, 18-2 over­all) went on it’s own 7-2 run with Ai­dan Holmes hit­ting a jumper at the buzzer to give the Blue Streaks a 13-12 lead to end the first quar­ter.

Things didn’t get any faster on the floor or pret­tier as Shaker made Saratoga pay for any missed shots, but the Blue Bi­son strug­gled on its own end of the floor and forced the tempo to a much slower, de­lib­er­ate speed in the fourth quar­ter down, 33-26.

“They wanted to slow it down and we were fine with that,” Saratoga Springs coach Matt Usher said. “We can play slow in the half court and win games like that.

“I did not like how we re­bounded the ball tonight, I thought we gave them too many ex­tra pos­ses­sions in­stead of tak­ing 25 or 30 sec­onds off the clock they were able to take al­most a minute off the clock with those of­fen­sive re­bounds.”

The Blue Streak mil­len­ni­als got a taste of old­school four cor­ner of­fense from Shaker coach Jamie Haver, ask­ing his point guard to drib­ble the ball in­side the time line, plead­ing pa­tience as the shot clock wound down and with less than 15 sec­onds left, then run the Bi­son of­fen­sive set.

“It’s dif­fer­ent,” Saratoga Springs’ Brian Hart said. “We were stand­ing in the cor­ners watch­ing our man, they would lit­er­ally waste 15, 20 sec­onds off the clock and then they would start their of­fense.

“It was weird to ad­just, they got of­fen­sive boards off of it. We def­i­nitely strug­gled with it, so if we face them in the play­offs we’re go­ing to have to ad­just and work on things in prac­tice.”

The wait­ing wasn’t the hard­est part for Saratoga Springs, it was the Bi­son’s play on a miss out of the stalling of­fen­sive set.

“Our guys are not used to it, but you have to con­tinue to de­fend and re­bound and take good shots and if you do that you can get a six­point lead to a 10-point lead and we strug­gled to do that tonight,” Usher said. “If we got that lead to 10 points I don’t think they would have been stalling as much as they were at the end.”

In an­other rar­ity, Blue Streak Nick Chudy was the lone player in double-fig­ures Tues­day night, lead­ing the bal­anced scor­ing at­tack that has led to Saratoga’s suc­cess, hit­ting just one three-pointer with Matt Larkin hit­ting two on the night.

“Against Shen we hit a lot of 3s, but it shows that we’re ver­sa­tile and can score in many dif­fer­ent ways, in­side the arc and some­times out­side,” Hart said. “Tonight it wasn’t our night be­hind the three­p­oint line so we ad­justed and it worked out.”

There is no col­umn in the stand­ings for an ‘ugly win’ but the Blue Streaks closed out the reg­u­lar sea­son on a high note and a long to-do list for their break be­fore their first Class AA play­off game ex­pected to be late next week at Hud­son Val­ley Com­mu­nity Col­lege.

“This is a wake-up call, it was good for these guys to know that there is a lot that we need to work on,” Usher said. “Some­times when you win you can start buy­ing into peo­ple say­ing you are re­ally good. “There are a lot of things we need to work on to get bet­ter and I know these guys will come into prac­tice and be ready to work and they’ll but into what­ever we are try­ing to im­prove.”


Saratoga Springs se­nior Nick Chudy goes up and over Shaker’s Ja­cob Cook as he is forced to al­ter his shot un­der the bas­ket Tues­day night at Saratoga Springs High School. Feb. 13, 2018.


Saratoga Springs se­nior Brian Hart looks to hold off Shaker’s Devin Ma­honeyy as he has a hold of him un­der the bas­ket Tues­day night at Saratoga Springs High School. Feb. 13, 2018.

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