Shenendehowa success formula: Everyone contributes

Ken Strube has coached in enough postseason basketball games to know there is a simple approach to w

Ken Strube has coached in enough postseason basketball games to know there is a simple approach to winning.

“At this stage, all I care about is getting one more point than the other team at the end,” said Strube, whose 20-2 Shenendehowa team takes on Section III champion Cicero-North Syracuse in a Class AA girls’ regional final today at 1:45 at Hudson Valley Community College.

Strube’s latest sectional championship squad, the 10th team of his that has advanced to this point in the season, can use both offense and defense to get the desired result.

“If you look at success of our program, we’ve had two or three girls who carry the load offensively, and three or four extremely complementary players,” said Strube. “That’s the case this year.”

Sophomore guard Emily Weber leads the Plainsmen with a 13.3 points per game average. Junior forward Allie Setter (10.2) and senior guard Marissa Ray (8.1) also contribute on a steady basis. Setter scored 15 points and took down nine rebounds in a 47-42 win over Shaker in the sectional final.

Defensively, they are part of a team that has limited opponents to 34.5 points per game.

“They all contribute in different ways,” said Strube. “The anchor of our defense is Meg Rogers in the middle.

“Marissa takes everyone out of their offense when we’re in our zone, because she’s a 6-foot guard up front and she makes it difficult to make the regular passes, so you’re starting your offense further back than you’d like to.

“Allie Setter is a beast on the boards. For a guard, Emlly Weber is a great rebounder, and Meg’s great, too. When she can’t get hold of the ball, she tips it to give us a chance.”

The focus of the Plainsmen defense today will be 6-foot-3 sophomore Breanna Stewart, who is averging 21.6 ppg for the 18-3 Northstars, who have won two straight sectional titles.

“She’s not a 6-3 aircraft carrier,” said Strube of Stewart, who has played with the national under-16 team. “She’s very skilled and agile. She’s an inside kid with outside capabilities.

“We don’t have any 6-3 kids, so we’re just going to have to rely on the team defense that got us to where we are.”

The winner advances to the state semifinals next weekend, also at HVCC.

Three other Section II champs are also looking to get to the state semis today.

Watervliet (18-4) takes on Ogdensburg Free Academy in a Class B noon game at HVCC.

In a double-header at Adirondack Community College in Queensbury, 18-3 Argyle plays Section X’s Harrisville at noon in Class D. That game will be followed by the Class C game that sends 22-0 Maple Hill against another Section X club, Bruston-Moira.

Watervliet got 16 points from freshman guard Ailiyah Demand in Monday’s sectional final win over Mechanicville. The Cannoneers also got solid contributions from Nae White (eight points, 12 rebounds) and Lashona Tolliver (seven points, 11 rebounds).

Katie Roth’s 28-point, 22-rebound effort got Maple Hill past Greenwich in the Class CC/C playoff, putting the Wildcats into reg­ional play for the first time. Roth, a 6-foot-2 junior, had 21 points and 14 rebounds in Maple Hill’s win over Hoosic Valley in the Class CC final.

Freshman guard Jacquelyn Miller had 18 points in Argyle’s win over previously unbeaten Whitehall in the Class D sectional final, earning tourney MVP honors.

Warriors advance

CANTON — Averill Park breezed into next weekend’s state Class A semifinals, rolling past Section X champ Franklin Academy of Malone, 53-35, Friday night in the Class A regional final.

The 22-1 Warriors led, 32-20, at the half, and outscored the Huskies, 12-2, to open the third period.

Categories: High School Sports

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