Lady Plainsmen look to veterans

Shenendehowa will rely on experience in today's Class AA girls' regional final.

Don’t expect Shenendehowa girls’ basketball coach Ken Strube to go deep into his bench when his team takes on the Corcoran

Cougars in today’s Class AA

regional at noon at Hudson Valley Community College.

Strube owes a great deal to his reserves, but with five talented and experienced senior starters, he would rather have the game decided by his veterans.

“Our five seniors will play a lot again. We pretty much have three or four primary players coming off the bench,” said Strube. “But at this time of year, it’s pretty instinctive to tighten up that bench. It’s diff­icult for the players who are used to playing five or six minutes, and now are playing only one or two. And it’s hard to explain it to them. It’s not so much that they’ve done anything wrong, but there is a confidence level in your starters. At this time of year, you are not experimenting much.”

Strube is hoping his team’s exper­ience will be the difference against the 19-5 Cougars.

“I don’t know too much about Cocoran, except for the fact that I know their coach, Jim Marsh,” Strube said. “They played Schen­ectady earlier in the year and lost a close game, 44-41. But they are a very young team, and that was early in the year. They played like a young team without a whole lot of confidence in that game. In the second half of the year, however, they won a couple of come-from-behind games when they were

10-12 points back. They’ve become a never-say-die kind of team.”

Corcoran, of Section III, reminds Strube of his 21-2 Lady Plainsmen.

“They are a very dangerous team,” he said. “They’re athletic, and although they are not gigantic, they have good overall team size. They don’t have any aircraft car­riers in the paint, but they have some big guards, just like us. I think we’re looking at a team that plays a lot like us. They play good, relentless defense. Some nights, they put the ball in the basket; other nights, they don’t.”

Shenendehowa, which defeated Bethlehem, 36-21, in the Section II Class AA championship game, also relies on its defense. Although the Lady Plainsmen have some solid scorers, led by Barb Shea (12.7 points per game), their 39 points a game allowed is the real key to the team’s success. Other top players for Shen include point guard Carey Turner, forward Megan Goodwin, guard Kim Woodward and forward Serita Holland.

“The good thing for us right now is that we’re very healthy,” said

Strube. “We have the usual bumps and bruises, but we haven’t had any catastrophic injuries this year. Plus, we haven’t played since last weekend. Some of the girls were telling me the other day that they feel like we should be playing, but this week off gives us a chance to get our legs back. We had Cath­olic High, Albany and Bethlehem on an every-other-day basis, and they were all good teams.”

Shenendehowa, which won its first sectional crown since 2004, has only lost to one Section II opponent all year, when Niskayuna defeated the Lady Plainsmen in the season opener, 41-33. Shen’s only other loss was in the Lockport tournament against Nichols (66-54).

“I think Cocoran plays a good schedule, just like the Suburban Council,” Strube said. “It should be a good game.”

In other regional games against Section X opponents at SUNY-Potsdam today, Watervliet (16-7) squares off against Madrid-Waddington in Class C at 1:45 and

Argyle meets Hammond in Class D at noon. The Class B game between Hoosic Valley and Ogdensburg has been postponed to Sunday.

Categories: Sports

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