Saratoga girls rebound to drop Shaker
After a disappointing loss on the road against rival Shenendehowa, the Saratoga Springs girls basketball team got back on the right track Tuesday night with a 54-48 win over Shaker in the first game of a varsity doubleheader at home.
There was a noticeable difference in the Blue Streaks play Tuesday night, a vast improvement in their execution and body language after the 69-34 loss at the hands of the Plainsmen just three days ago.
“We had a long talk, our team did, after the Shen game about how we need to clean up things like our defense,” Saratoga Springs coach Robin Chudy said. “We need to be more aggressive and that time we did have a bunch of looks at the basket, but other than that we’ve been saying our on-ball defense needs to be very aggressive.
“We need to make kids drive to the basket so we can have some help there; we need to not give open shots like we did in the last game. We need to make sure we have a hand in the face and I think mostly tonight we worked very hard on that and then helping and switching and being a lot more aggressive on defense.”
The ability to challenge offenses has been the bread and butter for Saratoga (12-5 Suburban Council, 15-6 overall) who also avenged a double-overtime loss on the road to the Bison (12-4 league, 14-6) overall in late December.
“We studied the Shen game a lot, the little things we didn’t care of and we focused on that this week to clean it up, to come out stronger and more aggressive and better.”
A late second quarter 12-2 run by Saratoga provided some breathing room as the Blue Streaks were able to put its transition game into action, creating opportunities off of
rebounds and steals.
“We want to push it, push it, get the ball up the court and then see what happens from there,” Chudy said. “If we have the ball, take the ball to the basket, take it, if not look for our transition offense where we have post coming though and see if we can get some layups and not give up on defense, not settle for an open shot from them, make them work for it.”
The Blue Streaks were led by junior Kerry Flaherty’s 16 point and sophomore Dolly Cairns 13-point, respectively. Saratoga’s balanced attack included Amanda McGinn and Briann Barringer both chipping in nine points each with Kara Vamvalis adding seven in the win.
Shaker, who was also routed by Shenendehowa a week ago, 66-37, before two home wins against Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake and Niskayuna, were led by Shyla Sanford’s 18-point night along with Julia Debeatham chipping in 15 in the loss.
The Blue Streaks await their playoff status Wednesday afternoon when the Section II committee will announce the post-season seeds and playoff schedule. Visit www.saratogian. com/sports for updates, seeds and schedules.
Saratoga Springs senior Amanda McGinn ooks to hold off Shaker’s Alexandra Debeatham under the basket after a foul shot Tuesday in Suburban Council action. Feb. 13, 2018