Colonie showed why it is considered among the finest Suburban Council boys’ basketball teams, after Niskayuna showed some spunk Friday night.
The Garnet Raiders pieced together 14 unanswered points spanning the first two periods and knocked off the Silver Warriors for their fourth straight victory, 62-40, in a matchup of division leaders.
“Some of our guys don’t like to lose,” coach Doug Kilmer said moments after his Colonie team went on a 17-4, fourth-quarter surge to put the game away. “They get nasty when they get down. They respond.”
Niskayuna, however, did that first, turning an 11-0 decifit into a 14-13 lead after Alex Olbrych’s first-quarter jumper. Colonie followed with its 14 consecutive points, seven coming from Tashan Newsome, to go up, 27-14.
Colonie (8-2, 11-3) opened up a 33-18 halftime lead, and when Herb Tedford scored down low with 4:50 left in the third quarter, its advantage grew to 21, at 41-20.
“We picked up our defensive intensity and started to attack on offense,” Newsome, a senior guard, said of the game-breaking spurt. “We got it together.”
Newsome scored 21 points, his last basket coming on a late fourth-quarter slam dunk, and Tedford, a 6-foot-5 junior forward, worked inside for 18 points and 11 rebounds. Senior swingman Jim Bacher added 13 points.
“Tedford did a lot of damage on the boards, and he does a great job of finishing around the basket. And Newsome, it seemed like every time we were putting something together, he’d make a defensive play or create at the offensive end,” Niskayuna coach Mike Black said. “Those two guys really hurt us.”
Their efforts helped Colonie win for the fifth time in six games, and take the top spot in the league’s Blue Division. Shenendehowa, which came in tied for first, lost to Averill Park Friday night.
“We’re playing better together than we were early in the season. We’re sharing the ball, high and low, and we’re playing with great defensive intensity,” Kilmer said. “It’s a combination anyone would want.”
“We’ve been playing unselfish ball. We don’t care who shoots and scores, as long as we win,” said Tedford, who delivered 12 of his 18 points in the first half. “Right now, it’s all about winning and getting better.”
Colonie couldn’t have played much better to start, with Bacher’s layup off a Sean Peer assist completing its first trip down. Three straight steals by Colonie led to baskets by Newsome, Bacher and Brian Sleasman, and Tedford’s reverse layup made it 11-0 two minutes in.
“Obviously, we got off to a disappointing start,” said Black. “We told the guys if we can take care of the ball and settle down, we’ll get some opportunities.”
Olbrych sparkled during Niskayuna’s 14-2 answering run, with the senior forward hitting two short jumpers and two free throws, while Garrett Bush connected on three-pointer and a layup, and Dan Peters dropped in a three.
That spree was followed by a six-minute scoring drought, while Colonie put together its 14 straight points. Tedford scored down low and Newsome turned a steal into a layup before sinking a pair from the line to end the first quarter. Bacher started the next period with a foul shot and a putback, Newsome drained a three, and Tedford’s short jumper made it 27-14.
Aside from its scoring runs, Colonie picked up 10 steals in the first half, and finished the contest with 16.
“When you play a good team, the margin for error is smaller,” said Black, whose Silver Warriors lost their second straight following a four-game winning streak. “We made too many mistakes. You can’t do that against a team like that.”
Newsome had five of those 16 steals, Bacher had three, and Peer also excelled defensively with five blocks to go along with seven rebounds.
“You look in the box score, and it doesn’t look like he did anything,” Kilmer said of Peer, a rugged 6-5 junior forward who finished with one free throw. “He’s a great complement to Herb. He’s an energy guy. He’s a hustler. Watch film and you’ll see all the things he does for us.”
Olbrych led Niskayuna (5-5,
7-7) with 17 points, eight rebounds and four assists, and Bush hit four three-pointers and totaled 14 points. Bush clicked for a trio of threes late in the third quarter, and Olbrych’s jumper made it 45-38 early in the fourth before Newsome countered with a three-point hoop and successful drive.
Niskayuna came into the contest tied for first place in the league’s White Division with Mohonasen and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake. Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake lost to Shaker, leaving Mohonasen, which was idle, alone in first. Mohonasen meets Saratoga Springs Sunday at Siena College.
Newsome 7-5-21, Sleasman 2-1-5, Bacher 6-1-13, Mafrici 1-0-2, Tedford 9-0-18, Peer 0-1-1, Crisafulli 1-0-2. Totals: 26-8-62.
Bush 5-0-14, Olbrych 7-2-17, Peters 2-0-5, Waltman 1-2-4, Privitera 0-0-0. Totals: 15-4-40.
Colonie 19 14 12 17 — 62
Niskayuna 14 4 18 4 — 40
Three-point goals: Newsome 2, Bush 4, Olbrych, Peters.
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