Plainsmen end long basketball title drought

Shenendehowa didn’t score a whole lot in Tuesday night’s Section II Class AA championship basketball
Shenendehowa defeated Guilderland for the Boys Class AA Section II finals at the Times Union Center in Albany on Tuesday, March 10, 2015.
Shenendehowa defeated Guilderland for the Boys Class AA Section II finals at the Times Union Center in Albany on Tuesday, March 10, 2015.

Shenendehowa didn’t score a whole lot in Tuesday night’s Section II Class AA championship basketball game with Guilderland.

Wasn’t necessary.

The Plainsmen used their diamond-and-one defense to pin down Andrew Platek and the Dutchmen for a second time, and Kevin Huerter produced nearly half of their points in a 47-42 victory at the Times Union Center.

“We knew what was coming,” said Guilderland senior Ralph Simeone. “We didn’t have an answer for it.”

Drew Lewis stayed with Guilderland’s scoring leader from start to finish, and Platek finished with nine points, 15 below his average, while Shenendehowa used a first-half run to gain all the separation it needed in its first championship-game win since 1996.

It was also the first Section II large-school title-game win for a Suburban Council team since Colonie went the distance in 2000.

“It’s awesome. Great feeling,” said Lewis, a senior guard. “We worked so hard to get to this point. If we lost we would have looked at this season as a failure.”

Shenendehowa (Suburban Council No. 1 seed, 22-0) beat Guilderland (SC No. 2, 19-4) in their only regular-season meeting, 56-43, when Lewis got the call to defend Platek in the Plainsmen’s diamond-and-one defensive scheme. Platek managed five points that night in Clifton Park, the junior star’s only single-digit outing before Tuesday night’s rematch.

Platek’s only second-half points were a jumper late in the third quarter and two free throws early in the fourth. Platek was 2-for-6 from the field and 4-for-4 from the line.

“I got a lot of help from my teammates, and I chased him around,” said Lewis.

“The story line is defense,” said Shenendehowa coach Tony Dzikas, whose Plainsmen have held 20 of 22 opponents to 50 points or fewer. “I just thought he [Lewis] did a great job of hounding, and our other guys in the diamond were great.”

The 43 points Guilderland managed at Shenendehowa were a season low before Tuesday night, when the Dutchmen hit 16 of 57 shots from the field, including a 2-for-25 showing from three-point territory. Shenendehowa was 17-for-50 from the field, with a 3-for-17 effort on threes.

“I give credit to their defense,” said Huerter, the Class AA MVP who had 20 points for the second time against Guilderland, six rebounds and three steals. “They did a great job at that end. It was definitely a defensive battle.”

Lewis didn’t have a single point, but snared eight rebounds in his 30 minutes on the court to go with his pestering ways against Guilderland’s 1,000-point career scorer.

“He did it the last game,” said Huerter. “We had a lot of trust in him and he did it again.”

Platek nailed a tying three and Simeone’s coast-to-coast layup gave Guilderland its only lead at 7-5 before Shenendehowa put together a 13-0 run that stretched into the second quarter.

Brandan Fischer had two layups and Huerter sank a three-point basket in a 9-0 spurt to close the opening quarter. Tom Huerter hit a short jumper to start the next and Fischer scored down low again for an 18-7 Plainsmen advantage.

Kevin Huerter scored 10 points in each half. The junior guard began the second half with a one-handed slam and two free throws on Shenendehowa’s first two trips to make it 26-17.

Guilderland got as close as five later in the third frame, 28-23, on a layup by Andrew Sischo, and once again with seven seconds left in the contest when Simeone scored on a putback.

Sischo led the Dutchmen with 17 points, 15 coming in the second half, and the 6-foot-8 junior center reached double digits in all four of his team’s playoff games to earn a spot on the all-tournament team with Platek and Tom Huerter.

Tom Huerter had 10 points for the state’s No. 7-ranked team. Guilderland, which was in search of its first area championship, came in with a No. 12 state rank.

Guilderland lost to Green Tech in last year’s large-school title game, and got some payback with a semifinal win over the Eagles last week.

“We were right there in both [title] games,” said Simeone, who had seven points and shared team honors with Sischo and Platek with nine rebounds. “It stinks that we couldn’t pull it off.”

Shenendehowa will take on Henninger (Section III, 21-1) Saturday night at 7 at Colgate University in a Class AA regional game. Henninger advanced with a 43-42 win over Proctor, and its ledger includes a 63-60 victory against Section II Class A runner-up Troy.


Wine 2-3-7, Simeone 3-0-7, Platek 2-4-9, Lia 1-0-2, Sischo 8-1-17. Totals: 16-8-42.


K. Huerter 6-5-20, T. Huerter 3-4-10, Bebic 2-0-4, Alverson 3-1-7, Fischer 3-0-6. Totals: 17-10-47.

Guilderland 7 7 16 12 — 42

Shenendehowa 14 8 18  7 — 47

Three-point goals: Simeone, Platek, K. Huerter 3.

Categories: High School Sports

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