Plainsmen overwhelm Griffins (with photo gallery)

Shenendehowa did all of the things on its to-do list and them some in a surprisingly one-sided 65-33
PHOTOGRAPHER:

Score inside and outside. Defend like crazy. Keep Bishop Maginn away from the offensive backboard.

Check, check and check.

Shenendehowa did all of the things on its to-do list and them some in a surprisingly one-sided 65-33 Section II Class AA semifinal victory over the Golden Griffins Tuesday night at the Times Union Center.

“That was an incredible effort by the boys,” said Shenendehowa coach Tony Dzikas. “If you told me this morning we’d be clearing the bench and that was the score, I wouldn’t have believed you.”

Dzikas started sending in his reserves early in the fourth quarter, after a 20-5 blitz in the period before sealed Shenendehowa’s ninth straight victory and third of the sectionals against a Big 10 opponent. That surge, a blend of offensive might and defensive tenacity, gave the Plainsmen a 49-29 advantage with eight minutes left.

“In the second half, we were great at moving the ball. We got steals. We got to the foul line,” Dzikas said. “You could see the light in their [Bishop Maginn’s] eyes get dimmer and dimmer, and it went out.”

Suburban Council Player of the Year Matt Miner had 21 points, and Manny Hernandez collected 14 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots to propel the state’s No. 8-ranked team into the large-school final for the first time since its 1996 victory over Albany. The Plainsmen and Christian Brothers Academy will meet next Tuesday night (7 p.m.) at the Times Union Center for the big prize after the Brothers eliminated Albany in their semifinal, 64-43.

“We’re all aware of the last time Shenendehowa won it,” said Miner, a senior guard who added four rebounds, three assists and two of his team’s 12 steals. “Our goal from the beginning of the year wasn’t to get to the finals. Our goal was to win it, and that’s what we’re going to try to do. That’s been our goal all along. We’re not satisfied yet.”

Shenendehowa (No. 1 Suburban Council seed, 20-1) roughed up Catholic Central and Schenectady before doing to same to a taller and super-athletic Bishop Maginn (Big 10 No. 2, 17-4) team that had won seven in a row, including sectional triumphs over Shaker and Albany Academy. Dan Lee played a key role for the Plainsmen with his two three-point baskets in the third quarter, as did feisty 5-goot-7 guard Justin Barnett, who came off the bench to contribute four points, five rebounds, four steals and four assists.

“Coach brings me off the bench as a spark,” said Barnett. “I’m there to play good defense and dish the ball off to our shooters. I know my role. I just try to help the team.”

“Other teams hate him, but we love him,” Miner said of Barnett, a senior. “He hustles his butt off. That’s what he brings to the table.”

Barnett scored on a drive, then came up with a steal and fed Miner for a basket to give Shenendehowa a 47-29 lead. Hernandez made another steal after that and scored on a layup just before the third quarter ended.

“Justin is a scrapper that gets after it,” said Dzikas. “He’s been doing it all year for us.”

Lee scored eight points in the decisive third quarter, and Miner delivered six points, while Bishop Maginn got only a jumper and lay­up from Chris Jeffers and a free throw from Antione Johnson.

“Our game plan was all about defense,” said Miner. “Defense, defense, desense. We focused inside, and we stuck to it.”

Bishop Maginn didn’t have a double-digit scorer, with Jeffers, Jarel Scott, Shavar Fields and John Scurry netting nine, eight, seven and six points, respectively. Jeffers also had eight rebounds for the state’s No. 15-ranked team, which had won Class AA crowns in 2007 and 2008.

“I thought our boys did a good job of keeping them out of what they wanted to do,” said Dzikas.

Scurry tied the contest at 18-18 on a second-quarter layup before Shenendehowa closed the frame with an 11-6 spurt that included a three-pointer and a successful drive by Hernandez.

“We’re known for making the threes, and we made enough to keep them honest tonight, but our boys did a good job of going to the basket, too,” said Dzikas. “We attacked pretty good tonight.”

Nine players ended up scoring for Shenendehowa, and its eight threes came from five different sources.

“Shenendehowa is difficult to defend because they have so many guys who can score the ball,” said CBA coach Dave Doemel. “It’s going to be a big task defending them. We’ll look at some film and get to work.”

Shenendehowa and Bishop Maginn both suffered overtime losses in the 2009 semifinals, with the Plainsmen losing to CBA, 63-56, and the Golden Griffins bowing out to Albany Academy, 60-59.

“We had a heck of a battle with them last year,” Doemel said. “I anticipate the same thing.”

CBA (Big 10 No. 1, 20-1) spread the offensive wealth in beating Albany (Big 10 No. 3, 13-8) for the third time, with Galal Cancer scoring 15 points, Joe Krong firing in 12, Kameron Ritter netting 11 and Max Weaver adding 10. Cancer had nine third-quarter points to fuel a 21-9 run as the state’s No. 3-ranked team pulled away from a 30-23 lead and secured its eight consecutive title-game appearance.

“We made a few adjustments, but the biggest thing was moving the ball and getting it to where it’s supposed to be,” Doemel said of the third quarter. “We got it going, and we also played solid defense in that quarter.”

Jeremic Bennett scored 18 points for the Falcons, yet missed most of the third frame after picking up his third personal foul in the opening minute.

Big 10 schools have won every Section II large-school title since 2001, with CBA prevailing in 2004, 2005, 2006 and last year. Colonie was the last Suburban Council large-school champ, in 2000.

SHENENDEHOWA 65, BISHOP MAGINN 33

BISHOP MAGINN

Scott 3-2-8, Petruccione 1-0-2, Johnson 0-1-1, Scurry 3-0-6, Fields 3-1-7, Jeffers 4-1-9. Totals: 14-5-33.

SHENENDEHOWA

Barnett 1-2-4, Reyes 1-2-4, Miner 7-5-21, Crittenden 0-2-2, Hernandez 6-0-14, Sarrafi-Nour 2-0-4, Pierson 2-0-5, Lee 3-0-8, Miller 1-0-3. Totals: 23-11-65.

Bishop Maginn 12 12  5  4 — 33

Shenendehowa 12 17 20 16 — 65

Three-point goals: Miner 2, Hernandez 2, Pierson, Lee 2, Miller.

CBA 64, ALBANY 43

ALBANY

Gaddy 1-0-2, Bennett 6-3-18, Turman 2-1-5, Rollin 2-3-7, Erwin 1-0-2, Phillip 1-0-2, Tucker 2-0-6, Daniels 0-1-1. Totals: 15-8-43.

CBA

Ritter 3-4-11, Weaver 5-0-10, Cancer 5-5-15, Krong 4-1-12, Dennis 2-2-8, Mulvey 3-1-7, Reilly 0-1-1. Totals: 22-14-64.

Albany  9 14  9 11 — 43

CBA 14 18 21 11 — 64

Three-point goals: Bennett 3, Tucker 2, Ritter, Krong 3, Dennis 2.

Categories: -Sports-, High School Sports

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