Nicole Adach celebrated a personal milestone Tuesday night. Her friend Michelle Aviza provided the fireworks.
Together, Mohonasen’s two seniors led the Mighty Warriors to a share of their program’s first title with a 63-50 win over Colonie.
“You look up there, and there’s never been,” Adach said, gesturing to her team’s banner in the Mohonasen gym. “It feels really good as a team. It gives us even more confidence going into sectionals.”
The Mighty Warriors claimed at least a tie for the Suburban Council South Division championship, improving to 16-2 overall (12-2 league) and avenging one of their losses. Colonie fell to 9-9 (7-7 league).
Adach became the second Mohonasen girls’ basketball player to eclipse the 1,000-point career mark, reaching the plateau on the second of three foul shots with 5.3 seconds remaining in the third quarter. She began the game with 994 points.
Though Adach didn’t score her first point until hitting a free throw 2:01 into the second half, Aviza, her longtime teammate, had already put on a show.
Aviza scored a season-high 25 points, 17 in the first half, and hit seven three-pointers in the game to lead the Mighty Warriors.
“She’s a great shooter,” first-year coach Paul Brosious said. “She lit it up tonight.”
Aviza said she had practiced her outside shot coming into the game, “and they fell tonight … They had a defense that allowed the corners to be open, so I just took advantage of that. I saw the open gaps, and I took advantage of it.”
“She was on fire,” Adach said.
Dayna Lashin and Lea McLain each added 12 points for the Warriors. Adach finished with nine points, 1,003 for her career.
Shayla Madden led Colonie with a show of her own, scoring 23 points, 16 in the first half. Amie Jefferson scored nine points, and Tehresa Coles scored seven.
Adach and Aviza have played together since the fifth grade, and they shared the court in pre-game ceremonies and, with the rest of their teammates, when Adach reached her milestone late in the third quarter.
Fouled beyond the arc by Madden, who helped her up off the court to the right of the top of the key, Adach swished her first foul shot for her 999th point. She then dribbled twice, crouched, set herself and swished her second. She smiled as the crowd cheered and officials stopped the game for a brief ceremony. She posed for a picture with her current and former coaches, Brosious and Meredith Eberz, accepted flowers and a balloon from her parents, then sank the third free throw.
“I’m so happy for her,” Aviza said. “I couldn’t be any happier for her.”
That gave Mohonasen a 50-36 lead in a game that was much closer in the first half.
Aviza hit her first two three-pointers to key the Warriors to an 8-2 lead midway through the first quarter. Colonie, however, came back with a 9-0 run, with Madden scoring seven points, to give the Garnet Raiders an 11-8 advantage with 1:57 remaining in the opening quarter.
The Raiders stretched that to 14-10 on a foul shot by Jefferson 35 seconds into the second quarter.
But Mohonasen responded with a 12-2 run, with Aviza scoring eight points. She hit a three-pointer from the left wing to give the Warriors a 15-14 edge with 5:43 to go in the half — Mohonasen never trailed again — sank another three off a screen while ranging to her left, and then drove the right baseline for a layup for a 20-16 lead.
After Adach grabbed a rebound off a Raiders’ miss at the other end, Lashin powered inside for a 22-16 lead, leading Colonie coach Heather Fiore to call a timeout with 3:30 remaining in the half.
“I think we just relaxed, but also, they’re good — that’s why we struggled with them. They beat us already,” Brosious said. “They relaxed, and then they got it done.”
The Raiders came within one, 22-21, when Madden swished a three-pointer with 2:15 to go in the half. But the Warriors scored the next six points to take a 28-21 lead at the break.
Scoring the first four points of the second half, Colonie came within 29-25 on Kari Kipper’s hook shot 34 seconds in. But Mohonasen went on a 10-0 run to take a 39-25 lead, capping it on a three-point play by Adach.
Coles 1-5-7, Fisher 1-2-4, Jefferson 4-1-9, Kipper 1-2-4, Kross 0-0-0, Loggins 1-1-3, Madden 9-2-23. Totals: 17-13-50.
Adach 1-7-9, Aviza 8-2-25, Baker 2-0-5, Cowell 0-0-0, Lashin 6-0-12, McLain 3-4-12. Totals 20-13-63
Colonie 13 8 15 14 — 50
Mohonasen 10 19 21 13 — 63
Three-point goals: Madden 3, Aviza 7, Baker, McLain 2.
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Categories: High School Sports