Luke Hicks got Shenendehowa out in front, and Kevin Huerter made sure the Plainsmen stayed there in the semifinals of the Section II Class AA boys’ basketball tournament.
The star guards lifted their team to a 55-38 win Thursday against CBA, as the duo combined for 48 points at the Glens Falls Civic Center. Hicks scored 17 of his 22 points in the opening half, while 22 of Huerter’s 26 came after intermission.
The victory set defending state champion Shenendehowa up for a championship matchup Tuesday with Green Tech, which picked up a 57-37 win against Guilderland in the night’s other semifinal. Scheduled tipoff for the title game is 7:30 p.m. at the Times Union Center in Albany.
Shenendehowa (No. 1, 22-0) and CBA (No. 4, 16-7) had played back in December, a 74-46 victory for Shenendehowa that was more lopsided than the score indicated. That first meeting started with a 23-0 run for Shenendehowa, which led that game 65-24 through three quarters.
“We need to come into every game focused on that game,” Hicks said. “Obviously, we beat them pretty good last time, so we knew they wanted to come at us.”
But it was Hicks and the Shenendehowa defense that looked the most inspired in the first half. While Hicks drained three 3-pointers in the opening two quarters, CBA only managed eight points as the Plainsmen’s diamond-and-1 defense — with Shenendehowa senior guard Petar Bebic shadowing CBA junior guard Mike Wynn — helped CBA along to a first half in which it shot 2-for-20 from the field.
“We wanted to make [CBA’s] other players . . . put it into their hands,” said Hicks, whose Plainsmen forced CBA into both shot-clock and 10-second violations in the opening quarter.
Shenendehowa — ranked No. 1 in the state for the last month — led 26-8 at halftime, but CBA opened the third quarter with its only strong flurry of the game. The Brothers, winners of 10 straight before their season-ending loss, made six of their first seven shots from the field after halftime. Five of those makes came from 3-point territory, as CBA trimmed Shenendehowa’s lead to 32-25.
“They had other guys hit shots and we had to adjust,” Shenendehowa head coach Tony Dzikas said. “We went a little bit more man-to-man . . . but you knew they were going to make a run.”
After a quiet first half, though, Huerter found his shooting touch and helped the Plainsmen regain their footing. The senior scored 12 points in the third quarter and added 10 more in the fourth, as Shenendehowa carried a double-digit lead for all of the final period.
“I stayed aggressive in the second half,” Huerter said. “Luckily, they started to fall.”
After shooting 1-for-7 from the field in the first half, Huerter was 6-for-10 in the second half. For the game, he was
10-for-11 from the foul line.
Sophomore forward Sloan Seymour and senior guard Dave Kopyc each scored nine points for CBA, with Kopyc’s points all coming on 3s during CBA’s strong third quarter.
GREEN TECH 57, GUILDERLAND 37
After falling to Guilderland (No. 2, 17-5) in last year’s semifinals, Green Tech (No. 3, 18-4) gained a measure of revenge with its elimination of the Dutchmen.
Like Shenendehowa, the Eagles advanced after a tremendous defensive effort. Guilderland did not score more than a dozen points in a quarter, shot 14-for-38 from the field, and had 19 turnovers in the loss.
The defensive effort, Green Tech head coach Jamil Hood Sr. said, was a relief after a regular season in which his team struggled at that end of the floor.
“I was nervous for 16 games,” he said. “These kids wouldn’t buy into our defense that we call controlled chaos.”
In the first half, Green Tech scored all 26 of its points in two separate double-digit runs. The Eagles had an 11-0 spurt in the first quarter and a 15-0 charge in the second quarter to push themselves to a 10-point halftime lead.
Green Tech’s Neftali Lind, a senior guard, led all scorers with 16 points, 14 of which came in the first half. Guilderland junior guard Mike Wine led his team with 10 points, while star senior center Andrew Sischo had eight points and 13 rebounds.
The championship meeting between Green Tech and Shenendehowa will feature the state’s last two Class AA champions. Speaking before he knew his team’s opponent for the title game, Hood said he felt confident his group would be ready for whichever team it faced.
“These guys come in and play the same kind of defense, with the same energy and effort, we’ll be right in the game,” Hood said.
SHENENDEHOWA 55, CBA 38
D. Kopyc 3-0-9, Seymour 3-1-9, Schultz 4-0-8, DeBrino 1-0-3, Kolbe 1-0-3, Trobridge 1-1-3, Wynn 0-3-3. Total: 13-5-38.
Huerter 7-10-26, Hicks 6-7-22, Bebic 1-1-3, Pizziketti 1-1-3, Collins 0-1-1. Total: 15-20-55.
SHEN 15 11 15 14 — 55
CBA 2 6 22 8 — 38
Three-point goals: D. Kopyc 3, Seymour 2, DeBrino, Kolbe, Hicks 3, Huerter 2.
GREEN TECH 57, GUILDERLAND 37
Lind 7-2-16, Miller 2-4-8, Friend 3-0-7, Davis 3-0-6, Lukes 3-0-6, Thomas 2-0-5, Ford 2-0-4, Moses 1-0-2, Rodriguez 1-0-2, Murphy 0-1-1. Total: 24-7-57.
Wine 4-0-10, Sischo 4-0-8, Marinopoulos 2-1-7, Henderson 1-2-4, Boeri 1-0-3, Morin 1-0-3, Greene 1-0-2. Total: 14-3-37.
Green Tech 11 15 16 15 — 57
Guilderland 4 12 9 12 — 37
Three-point goals: Friend, Thomas, Marinopoulos 2, Wine 2, Boeri, Morin.
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Categories: High School Sports, Sports