Shen Girl’s edge Aver­ill Park, 54-42

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - SPORTS - By Stan Hudy [email protected]­i­tal­first­ @StanHudy on Twitter

CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. >> A tie, a tip and a win.

Shenen­de­howa se­nior Si­mone Walker didn’t have the best night of­fen­sively, but she came up with one of the big­gest plays of the night, a tip cre­at­ing a steal of an in­bounds pass un­der­neath the Aver­ill Park bas­ket with 42 sec­onds left, send­ing the ball up the court to Rylee Car­pen­ter for the lay-up and the fi­nal lead.

The 54-52 Sub­ur­ban Coun­cil

win was also the prod­uct of late pres­sure by the Plains­men, com­ing up with two blocks in the War­riors end prior to the tip, steal and layup.

“A lot of per­se­ver­ance, it re­ally was,” Shenen­de­howa coach Joe Mur­phy said. “I

mean they tested us in bat­tled ev­ery way they pos­si­bly could and had some great de­fen­sive ef­forts.

“Just dif­fer­ent kids at dif­fer­ent mo­ments, if they didn’t score in the first quar­ter or half the other kids did. Kait­lyn (Wa­trob­ski) hit a big three right be­fore the half, Rylee (Car­pen­ter) had to tran­si­tion, layup that was those big, Mo, (Si­mone Walker) she had to play the game and steal to set it up.”

Walker strug­gled on of­fense Tues­day night, fin­ish­ing with just five points, but was a cat­a­lyst in driv­ing the lane against Aver­ill Park and the Wood sis­ters, Amelia and Kelsey, chal­leng­ing their in-the-paint sets. Then when needed she was hands-on the ball with blocks, de­fen­sive tieups and the key tip and tap to Car­pen­ter.

“The last play of the game, it was re­ally some­thing that we needed,” Si­mone Walker said. “I know all game long things didn’t re­ally go my way, but I just had to keep go­ing.

“I was lucky to have my team­mates there to sup­port me to be able to make that play and Rylee had a great fin­ish.”

Again the Plains­men had a bal­anced scor­ing at­tack, led by Meghan Huerter’s 13 points, Car­pen­ter with 12 and Kait­lyn Wa­trob­ski with 11 fol­lowed by Bella Stu­art and Jil­lian Huerter with six each and Walker’s five.

In dif­fer­ent games, its dif­fer­ent kids,” Mur­phy said. “I haven’t looked at the box score but I bet it’s pretty even. We didn’t have any­one with 25, 30 points; it’s prob­a­bly maybe a cou­ple of kids in the teens, a bunch of six, seven, and eight. All we try to do is build a box score.”

Aver­ill Park led by as many as five pre­cious points mid­way through the fourth quar­ter as Shenen­de­howa came up empty on five con­sec­u­tive trips down the floor with Kelsey Wood and Amelia Wood each con­vert­ing free throws and Miche­lina Lom­bardi driv­ing the lane with 4:08 left.

Lom­bardi fin­ished with a game-high 14 points with Amelia Wood drop­ping in 10 and Kelsey Wood nine, both com­bined for nine­points from the line.

Wa­trob­ski hit her sec­ond key three-pointer with 3:17 left to cut the lead to two points and hit from the base­line on the next trip down the court, cour­tesy of a War­riors turnover to knot the game at 48 apiece with 2:40 left.

Kelsey Wood put Aver­ill Park ahead for the fi­nal time with her bas­ket from un­der­neath with 2:22 left and Bella Stu­art drove and was fouled with 1:24 left. She missed the and-one to leave the con­test tied for the fi­nal time at 50.

The Plains­men have not been in many tight games, but they were pre­pared for what the War­riors would throw at them Tues­day night.

“Not let­ting their pres­sure, their runs get us down and we’ve got a lot of men­tal tough­ness and we per­se­vered,” Meghan Huerter said. “We had to stop the Woods sis­ters, they’re two great play­ers and Anna Jankovic, Miche­lina Lom­bardi, they’re all great solid play­ers. They can hit many shots in many dif­fer­ent parts of the court so we had to buy into our de­fense and our game plan.”

She also called it an­other team ef­fort.

“We don’t want to be a team that you can just stop one or two play­ers,” Huerter said. “We want to be a team that the whole de­fense has to play hon­esty and ev­ery­one can score.

“That’s what I think is great about our team is that we are so deep. Even peo­ple who didn’t get it, they can score from any points in the court and it’s a great thing to have.”

Aver­ill Park, ranked as the No. 1 Class A girls team in New York State and Shenen­de­howa, cur­rently No. 3 in Class AA will see each other again, both times al­ready sched­uled, once in non-league play and a scrim­mage to pre­pare both for the post­sea­son.

“We love play­ing each other, (Sean Or­gan) makes us bet­ter ev­ery time,” Mur­phy said. “His team makes us bet­ter ev­ery time we play them and he says the same thing about us.

“It’s truly a great bas­ket­ball game. Any­time you can step on the court with Aver­ill Park, they’re just re­ally well coached, well bal­anced team, so it makes us work for ev­ery­thing we got.”


Shenen­de­howa se­nior Bella Stu­art looks to block out Aver­ill Park sopho­more Amelia Wood un­der the bas­ket Tues­day night in Sub­ur­ban Coun­cil ac­tion at Shenen­de­howa High School.

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