Shen Boy’s narrowly escapes with 51-44 win over Averill Park
AVERILL PARK, NY >> Shenendehowa Boy’s Basketball continues to roll along this season, but it has not been an easy quest for the Plainsmen, adding Averill Park to their list of opponents to give them some trouble.
“They are a good team,” said Shen Head Coach Tony Dzikas. “On the road and this is our third straight year coming to AP.”
Shen came and conquered the Warriors in a 51-44 win Tuesday night on the back of a 24 point third quarter that pushed the Plainsmen ahead of the Warriors on the road.
“I think what happened was the man to man press,” said Dzikas on what Shen did in the third quarter. “It gave them a little bit of problems, they had some turnovers and got a little rattled, and then we got some easy shots. Landon Spiak came in and got some three’s off the bench, we hit some shots.”
“We played our hearts out,” said Averill Park Head Coach Dave Pugliese. “In the third quarter, we got away from who we are. We stopped playing real hard on defense, we stopped moving our hands, we weren’t getting deflections, they got numerous offensive rebounds, and the game slowly started tipping to their end.”
The first half ended in a 19-19 tie. Both Averill Park and Shen were trading shots, but it was Averill Park’s defense that allowed them to make a last minute push in the second quarter to
knot things up before the buzzer sounded.
“I am proud of us, this is probably the best team we play all year and we had an opportunity to win,” said Pugliese. “I told the guys we won five in a row, we were guarding the crap out of people, and we are for real. We played really well today, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t wondering what would happen today.”
The battle in the paint was shared between Shen’s Jake Reinisch and Averill Park’s Michael Re. Reinisch led the Plainsmen in points with 14, scoring five in the first half. Re scored nine in the game and just two in the first half.
Reinisch scored the game high in points.
“He’s strong and creates space, and I thought he did really well man to man,” said Pugliese. “That is the longest we have been able to play man to man with Shen in a long, long time. We are a team that has to play hard all the time.”
Ben Romer led the way for Averill Park, scoring 10 points in the loss. Along with Romer and Re, Jack Long stood out offensively and defensively for the Warriors, knocking down a pair of three’s in the effort. Long finished with eight points.
Turnovers were the killer for Averill Park in the third quarter, leading to the Plainsmen outburst, including two three pointers from Shen’s Spiak. Joining the points parade was Andrew Martin who also scored six points, including a conversion on an andone, and a three pointer from Reinisch.
Shen totaled five threepointers in the third quarter.
“We don’t have anybody that is going to overwhelm you. There is not a single player that I don’t think you are going to need to go junk defense on, but we have ten guys that are going to come in and play super hard,” said Dzikas. “What we hope is by the end of the third, by the end of the fourth, it starts to show, and it did. You started to see that.”
Dzikas continued on Shen’s third quarter.
“They have a couple mental lapses. They had a little spurt there where they started to turn the ball over quite a bit and we are platoon subbing in and out, and that’s what we kind of do.”
Averill Park tried to overcome a 14 point deficit in the fourth quarter with a 15 point effort, but Shen’s eight point push was enough to strengthen the lead and clinch the win.
With 1:30 remaining, Averill Park went on a full court press as Shen carried a five point lead into the final minute. In an effort to regain possession, Averill Park fouled Reinisch, who missed his foul shot.
Averill Park was unable to convert on the opportunity and as Shen once again took possession of the ball, a final foul forced Reinisch back to the foul line, this time hitting both and making up for his previous miss.
“We had a couple mental lapses at the end, some missed free throws, which is kind of on our radar, but sometimes you draw so much attention to free throws it gets worse rather than better,” said Dzikas. “When the 17, 16, and 15 year olds are ready to hit those, they hit those. We do our thing in practice, we check our boxes, we had someone come in on Sunday and work with the guys on free throws, and they will hit them when they need to hit them, or they will lose a game.”
The final horn buzzed and Shen’s mental lapses did not come back to affect them, and the Class A Averill Park was happy with the way they played against the AA Shen.
“If we play hard and rebound on defense I think we are okay,” said Pugliese. “I’m happy but it doesn’t get any easier, we have to go to CBA on Friday. We didn’t make some shots that we normally make but they are very good defensively.”
Shen improves to 9-1 this season with the win. Averill Park’s five game win streak ends, making the Warriors now 6-5 now this season.
Andrew Martin passes the ball on January 14 at Averill Park High School as Shenendehowa takes on Averill Park High School.
Ben Romer drives the hoop on January 14 at Averill Park High School as Averill Park faced off with Shenendehowa.