Schenectady vs. Troy: Patriots finish strong, stay perfect

Calm, cool and still undefeated.

That was the Schenectady girls’ basketball team Tuesday nig


Calm, cool and still undefeated.

That was the Schenectady girls’ basketball team Tuesday night after turning back Troy’s upset bid in the Big 10 opener for both teams at the Pat Riley Sports Center.

“In the past, when we got in a close game, everything seemed like an emergency for us. When things got a little sticky tonight, we moved the ball, made some layups and made some defensive stops. We made it happen,” Schenectady coach Carol Lupo said after the Patriots’ 56-42 victory.

“We have to overcome our mistakes, and we’ve been doing that much better. We don’t hang on them. We’re refocusing and staying with it.”

Schenectady’s veteran cast pulled away from a 30-30 tie with a closing 26-12 flurry in which senior Sheila Dixon and Amanda Colafemina excelled, and extended its overall record to 5-0. The scoring spree included an 18-2 spurt after Shannon Jones’ jumper had tied the contest for Troy with 2:30 left in the third quarter.

“We were controlling tempo, limiting them to one shot. We did everything we needed to do to get to that point, and then it got away from us,” said Troy coach Paul

Bearup. “ We wore down in the second half, and that’s when we started giving up second shots, rushing shots and turning it over. We just wore down, where they’re so big and athletic.”

And so composed, a factor which also played into season-opening tournament wins over Big 10 foes Catholic Central and Albany, and Ballston Spa and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake of the Suburban Council.

“We’re building confidence as a team, which helps us have more composure,” said Lupo, who grad­uated four seniors from last season’s 12-9 edition. “We have more people who can handle the ball out there and think out there and do positive things for us. We’re evolving into a much more composed team than we were in the past.”

Dixon collected 18 points, five assists and three steals, Antonia Williams netted 16 points and Sam­ara Butler finished with 12 points, including a putback that gave Schen­ectady the lead for good at 32-30. Marissa Cromwell grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds, and Colafemina led the Patriots with four steals.

Colafemina, just 4-foot-11 but full of energy, caused Troy fits down the stretch with her ball pressure and constant movement.

“Amanda is a very intense player,” said Lupo. “She can make big a difference with her defensive play. She forces bad passes, get steals. She’s a real hustler out there.”

Dixon did most of her damage at the offensive end during Schen­ectady’s closing surge, scoring 16 of her team’s 26 points, after managing only a layup in the first half. The Big 10 first-team all-star turned a pair of steals into layups, had another layup and sank three short jumpers and four free throws, two coming after Bearup was hit with a technical foul with 4:40 to play.

Dixon’s follow-up jumper capped the 18-2 spurt, making it 48-32 with 3:58 remaining.

“She didn’t score much in the first half, and in the past, that would have thrown her off,” Lupo said of Dixon, who, during one segment down the stretch, produced 12 consecutive points for the Pats. “She stayed in there and kept working, and got into a groove.”

“I think we did an outstanding job of keeping her under wraps through three quarters,” Bearup said of Dixon, a Daily Gazette All-Area first-teamer. “She got in open space, and hit some runners. She was one of the kids who made it happen.”

Schenectady held a 26-21 lead at the half before Troy (2-2) pulled even on the strength of a 9-4 run that Jones started with a three-point hoop and finished with her short jumper.

“We were not in a good flow in the first half, and maybe being our first home game had something to do with that,” said Lupo. “What I liked was when we reached the half, the girls didn’t seem too rattled. There was a calm over the team.”

Junior center Jamiesha Bruton sparked Troy with 15 points and 12 rebounds, while Emily Jones scored 13 points and Shannon Jones totaled 10 points with five assists and five steals. The 6-1 Bruton delivered nine first-half points, and had the lone basket during Schenectady’s 18-2 push.

“She has a lot of court presence,” Bearup said of Bruton. “She’s a very good passer, a strong rebounder and she has a nice touch from 16 feet in.”

Williams scored 10 first-half points for the Patriots, who host Catholic Central Thursday.


Bruton 7-1-15, S. Jones 4-0-10, E, Jones

4-5-13, Fagan 1-0-2, Washington 1-0-2. Totals: 17-6-42.


Dixon 7-4-18, Williams 8-0-16, McLean 1-0-3, Butler 5-1-12, Cromwell 1-0-2, Tanner 1-0-2, LaFond 1-0-3. Totals: 24-5-56.

Troy  9 12 11 10 — 42

Schenectady 13 13 12 18 — 56

Three-point goals: S. Jones 2, McLean, Butler, LaFond.

Categories: High School Sports

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