The Shenendehowa girls’ basketball team can present coach Ken Strube with a milestone victory tonight, and also help itself considerably in the race for Suburban Council Blue Division supremacy.
With that two-fold purpose in mind, the streaking Lady Plainsmen will take on longtime rival Colonie on the Garnet Raiders’ court. They’ve strung together eight consecutive victories, and another, against the reigning Section II Class AA champions will push Strube’s career total to 500.
“We’ve talked about it as a team, but not too much. We don’t want to jinx ourselves,” Shenendehowa senior forward Meg Goodwin said of Strube’s milestone bid. “We kind of want to push it aside when we play, put it out of our minds, and if we win, then we can celebrate with coach.”
Shenendehowa did not win the last two times it met up with Colonie, late in the 2006-07 league campaign (35-31) and again in the Suburban Council tournament (48-43). The Lady Plainsmen beat the Garnet Raiders midway through last season, 47-43, before those setbacks.
“We know it’s a game we have to go in prepared to play,” Goodwin said. “We’ve got to be focused on Colonie, on the game.”
Strube said the emphasis in practice Wednesday and Thursday was on a Colonie (5-2 league, 6-5) team that’s young, but capable. The Garnet Raiders won five straight games before losing three of their last four, capped by Tuesday’s 55-37 defeat against Averill Park.
“I understand that my girls are aware of it [the 500 wins], but I haven’t mentioned anything about it,” said Strube, who sports a 499-142 record with eight Section II titles and four state crowns in his 29-plus seasons at Shenendehowa. “Our approach has been business as usual. We’re playing Colonie, and Colonie is going to be tough.”
Shenendehowa has been a tough team to score on, and combined with its balanced offensive attack, hasn’t suffered a loss since dropping its season debut to Niskayuna. The Lady Plainsmen (6-1, 8-1), ranked No. 8 in the state in Class AA, can widen their lead in the Blue Division with another triumph. The two teams shared to top position last season.
“This is an important game, as far as the league goes,” said Strube, who has guided his teams to 17 Suburban Council banners. “We know it, and they know it.”
Strube gained his 450th career win against Colonie, his alma mater. Strube also started his high school coaching career at Colonie, as a volunteer junior varsity boys’ assistant, before moving to Shenendehowa. He got his start there as a varsity boys’ assistant under Jim Zullo, and after three seasons, took over the varsity girls’ team.
Strube went 9-9 in his first season with the Shenendehowa girls, and each team since has posted double-figure victories.
“In retrospect, the fact that it could happen at Colonie would be like a cherry on top of a sundae,” Strube said. “I’m a Colonie kid. I had an absolutely fabulous childhood there. The Colonie school district, to this day, means a great deal to me.”
rams on the road
Amsterdam (5-0, 10-0) can complete a perfect run through the first half of its Big 10 schedule tonight with a victory at Albany. The Lady Falcons (3-1, 9-2) lost to Catholic Central in double overtime, 57-56, Tuesday, while the Lady Rams, ranked No. 1 in the state in Class AA, beat league contender Bishop Maginn, 60-42, at home a week ago.
“Some other teams might think we’re better than them, but I don’t believe Albany has that mind set,” said senior guard Megan Gaugler, who leads Amsterdam with a 15.1 scoring average. “They’re going to do everything that can to knock us off.”
Amsterdam will be putting a 20-game league winning streak on the line against an Albany team that owns wins against Colonie and Kingston, and two against Schenectady. Amsterdam’s resume includes wins over New York City heavyweights Christ the King and John F. Kennedy.
“They’re athletic and tough on the boards, so we have to be tough on the boards, and we have to get back and defend because they like to run. They’re running more than in the past,” Amsterdam coach Eric Duemler said of Albany, which features Shenekwa Stewart (12.8 ppg) and Chelcy Moore (13.5 ppg). “I’ve scouted them four times. They’re a dangerous team.”
Saratoga Catholic (5-2, 5-6) put three players in double point figures and rolled past Fort Plain, 55-34, for its third straight Western Athletic Conference win Thursday night. Tiffany Vance scored 19 points for the Hilltoppers (4-3, 5-7).
Schoharie (5-5) got 19 points from Sarah Lamoureux in a 42-29 non-league win at Galway (3-9).
Katie Kollar scored 23 points to propel Johnstown (6-5) to a 49-44 non-league win over Fonda-Fultonville (8-3).
Kevin Hanson banked in a three-pointer as the overtime buzzer sounded, lifting Fonda-Fultonville (5-1, 10-2) to a 50-47 Western Athletic Conference win at Fort Plain Wednesday.
Fort Plain’s Adam Cutspec tied the game at 47 two free throws, and led the Hilltoppers (3-3, 7-4) with 18 points.
Hanson finished with 15 points as the Braves remained a game behind Northern Division leader Saratoga Catholic (6-0, 9-3). Saratoga Catholic hosts Fort Plain tonight, and WAC Southern Division leader Schenectady Christian (6-0, 10-0), ranked No. 2 in the state in Class C, entertains rival Canajoharie (2-4, 4-7) at Scotia-Glenville High School.
League unbeatens Bishop Maginn (7-0 Big 10, 9-1), Guilderland
(7-0 Suburban Council, 9-2) and Albany Academy (8-0 Colonial Council,
9-2) are also in action tonight.
WESTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE
SARATOGA CATHOLIC 55, FORT PLIAN 34
Anderson 5-0-10, Raccuia 2-0-4, Henry 1-0-2, Goodsen 1-0-2, Towne 4-3-12, Diggins 1-2-4, Carson 1-0-2, Mensler 6-3-15, Rizzo 1-2-4. Totals: 22-10-55.
Baum 2-2-7, Vance 6-7-19, Budzik 1-0-3, Fredericks 1-0-2, Kane 0-1-1, Manchester 1-0-2. Totals: 11-10-34.
Saratoga Catholic 11 12 18 14 — 55
Fort Plain 8 8 8 10 — 34
Three-point goals: Towne, Baum, Budzik.
JOHNSTOWN 49, FONDA-FULTONVILLE 44
Sullivan 5-7-17, Hitchcock 2-1-5, Nowak 1-2-5, Egelston 6-1-13, Baker 2-0-4. Totals: 16-11-44.
Sweet 4-2-13, Kollar 0-1-1, Derwin 1-0-2, Stock 2-2-6, Croucher 1-0-2, Cooper 1-0-2, Kollar 9-4-23. Totals: 18-9-49.
Fonda-Fultonville 13 10 11 10 — 44
Johnstown 14 9 9 17 — 49
Three-point goals: Nowak, Sweet 3, Kollar.
SCHOHARIE 42, GALWAY 29
Dano 0-1-1, Stark 2-0-4, Lamoureux 8-3-19, Hext 0-4-4, Johnson 2-4-8, Uvegus 2-1-6. Totals: 14-13-42.
Cruden 1-1-3, Sickler 1-0-2, Longworth 1-0-3, Jones 1-0-2, Schelling 1-2-5, Ostrander 4-0-8, Hayes 3-0-6. Totals: 12-3-29.
Schoharie 12 9 11 10 — 42
Galway 4 6 11 8 — 29
Three-point goals: Uvegus, Longworth, Schelling.
WESTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE
FORT PLAIN 47 (OT)
Nethaway 1-2-4, Hall 2-2-8, Hidde 2-2-6, Hanson 5-4-15, Jenkins 3-0-6, Quiri 1-2-4, Hebert 1-0-2, Headwell 0-5-5. Totals: 15-17-50.
Thomas 2-0-4, Bowers 4-4-12, Braemer 1-0-2, Gattman 1-0-2, Cutspec 3-12-18, Hinkle 2-0-4, Resch 2-1-5. Totals: 15-17-47.
Fonda-Fultonville 5 11 13 9 12 — 50
Fort Plain 14 6 11 7 9 — 47
Three-point goals: Hall 2, Hanson.