Capital Region

Montanez scores 26 as Shenendehowa girls’ basketball beats Colonie in Section II Class AA semifinal

Shenendehowa's Kaleigh Montanez takes a shot next to Colonie's Jayla Tyler during Thursday's Section II Class AA girls' basketball semifinal at Hudson Valley Community College.

Shenendehowa's Kaleigh Montanez takes a shot next to Colonie's Jayla Tyler during Thursday's Section II Class AA girls' basketball semifinal at Hudson Valley Community College.

TROY — The basketball floor at Hudson Valley Community College couldn’t stop Shenendehowa’s Kaleigh Montanez, either mentally and physically, from leading the Plainsmen past Colonie 53-39 in the Section II Class AA girls’ basketball semifinals Thursday night.

Montanez crumpled to the ground after hitting her third 3-pointer of the game with 30 seconds left in the first half against Colonie. She managed to get herself up, took a few steps and then needed assistance to get back to the Plainsmen bench, hopping on her right leg.

“It was the [left] ankle I previously broke before this season,” Montanez said. “I got really scared, I was like ‘Oh my God.’ Our trainer, Rick [Knizek], was talking to me and I’m like, ‘Actually I’m good, good to go.’”

Montanez wasn’t only good, she was on fire — scoring a game-high 26 points, hitting 5-of-6 3-pointers and finishing the night 9-of-12 from the floor.

More from Clifton Park and Halfmoon – The Daily Gazette

“I think I’m more of a streaky [shooter], and when I get one going, the second and the third, I know I’m probably going to get two more, hopefully,” Montanez said.

Montanez’s exit in the first half came at a precarious time for the Plainsmen, who were trailing Colonie 10-9 after the first quarter before going on a 14-7 second-quarter run that included a pair of 3-pointers from Montanez.

“We all took a collective deep breath,” Shenendehowa coach Joe Murphy said. “As soon as she got up, she walked over to our assistant coach and said, ‘I’m fine. I can go back in.'”

She convinced Murphy that she was ready and able during warm-ups, proving it when she scored 17 second-half points.

Montanez’s shots came from beyond the high school 3-point line painted on the Hudson Valley Community College court, one of three arcs painted at her feet on the multi-purpose floor.

“Any time there is a court with three lines, that’s my weakness,” Montanez said with a laugh. “I have horrible court awareness sometimes when I’m shooting. It didn’t stop me tonight. I’m glad I didn’t.”

The Plainsmen had to endure another pause when Jillian Huerter picked up her third foul two minutes into the third quarter, placing her on the bench until the start of the fourth quarter.

Shenendehowa didn’t miss a beat, extending its lead to 36-24 to close out the third quarter.

Huerter transitioned from scorer to cheerleader during her break on the bench.

“I think we have a lot of good players, and that showed tonight, even when we got a few girls in foul trouble, we stepped up. We didn’t take our foot off the gas,” Huerter said. “It’s very exciting and very important.”

Ava Pearson led Colonie with 13 points, and Gabrielle Martin added 10 as the Shenendehowa defense limited the Garnet Raiders to a 14-of-45 shooting night from the floor.

“Credit my assistant coach Carlin DeMarinis, she said let’s go zone,” Murphy said. “I said we’ll give it a shot right from the get-go. We didn’t want to get in foul trouble, they can attack the glass well, they get to the line a lot, so we said let’s start out in that and see how it goes.”

More from Clifton Park and Halfmoon – The Daily Gazette

The plan worked with Colonie getting to the free throw line just 15 times, the Plainsmen 13. 

“Credit to her, she came up with the game plan for us and it stuck,” Murphy said. “They didn’t hit any shots, they hit a couple threes, but we limited them.”

Top-seeded Shenendehowa will face Albany at 6 p.m. Saturday at HVCC in the Class AA final.


Albany’s defense proved to be too much for Shaker in the evening’s opening semifinal. The Falcons had 12 steals against the Bison in their 45-40 victory.

Third-seeded Albany jumped out to a 16-5 first quarter lead and held on as Shaker chipped away in the final three quarters, outscoring the Falcons 35-27.

Second-seeded Shaker was held scoreless in the final minutes against Albany’s defense as the Falcons forced four turnovers in the final minute.

Azera Gates led Albany with a game-high 21 points. Shaker’s Kaelah Carter scored 17 points, and Emily Satterday added 11.

More High School Sports – The Daily Gazette


Shenendehowa 9 14 13 17 — 53

Colonie 10  7  7 15 — 39

Shenendehowa scoring: Huerter 4-2-11, Montanez 9-3-26, Carey 1-0-3, Wilders 1-1-3, Almeida 2-0-4, Cozzens 1-1-3, Delisle 1-0-3. Colonie scoring: Tyler 0-2-2, Martin 4-2-10, Pearson 5-0-13, Franchi 2-0-6, Trimarchi 3-2-8. Scoring totals: Shenendehowa, 19-7-53. Colonie, 14-6-39.


Shaker 5 15  8 12 — 40

Albany 16 13  5 11 — 45

Shaker scoring: Shomo 1-1-3, Carrington 0-2-2, Martino 1-1-3, Carter 8-0-17, Satterday 5-1-11, Foglia 2-04. Albany scoring: Cancer 2-0-6, Anderson 1-0-2, Walcott 1-0-2, Edmonds 3-0-6, Gates 8-4-21, Braxton 0-1-1, Foley 1-0-3, Weedon 0-1-1, Johnston 1-0-2. Scoring totals: Shaker, 17-5-40. Albany, 17-6-45.

Categories: Clifton Park and Halfmoon, High School Sports, Sports

Leave a Reply