Shen Boy’s nar­rowly es­capes with 51-44 win over Aver­ill Park

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - SPORTS - By Joe Boyle [email protected]­i­tal­first­ Sports Ed­i­tor

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.

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