Shenendehowa tops Niskayuna in Suburban Council girls’ basketball (with video)

Shenendehowa's Brianna Carey handles the ball between Niskayuna's Rebecca Schmidt and Kathleen Birmingham on Tuesday.
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Shenendehowa's Brianna Carey handles the ball between Niskayuna's Rebecca Schmidt and Kathleen Birmingham on Tuesday.

NISKAYUNA – Ball movement and depth turned out to be essential for Shenendehowa in its 56-50 season-opening win over Niskayuna in Suburban Council girls’ basketball action Tuesday.

In the first quarter, Niskayuna (0-1 league, 2-1 overall) moved the ball better than Shenendehowa, and it resulted in a 15-9 lead.

The second quarter was a different story. The Plainsmen started to move the ball and find each other in open spots. They outscored the Silver Warriors 14-4 to take a 23-19 lead.

“I think we had our first-game jitters,” Shenendehowa senior captain Brianna Carey said. “Once we got rid of those little jitters and we started playing as a team, our shots started to fall and we started to trust each other more.”

“Second quarter we played as a team offensively and defensively,” Shenendehowa coach Joe Murphy said. “I think we held them to four points that quarter, and we passed the ball better that quarter. It was just team basketball that quarter.”

It was team basketball the whole game for Shenendehowa, as all 11 players not only played but contributed to the win. Past Plainsmen teams have had go-to players, but Murphy said this year’s squad will be more of a committee.

@dgazette Shenendehowa tops Niskayuna in Suburban Council girls’ basketball – More at DailyGazette.com  – Daily Gazette


“We played all 11 girls in the first half, which I think not many teams can say they can do,” Carey said. “We have one of our post players playing the 1 right now, which is pretty big. I played the 4 a little bit, and I’m also known as a guard, so I think it catches other teams off guard.”

In the third quarter, Shenendehowa opened its lead to nine, 31-22, but Niskayuna rallied and actually retook the lead – albeit briefly – at 35-34 on Jackie Reffelt’s inside basket. But the Plainsmen retook the lead for good on Carey’s drive and finished the quarter ahead 39-35.

Olivia O’Meally, who had 14 points for Niskayuna, and was an inside presence, had four fouls after three quarters and didn’t start the fourth, which helped Shenendehowa.

“We did get into a little bit of foul trouble, and that always hurts when you have to get into mixing things up a little bit,” Niskayuna coach Sarah Neely said. “We’re also dealing with a ton of injuries as well. I’m happy with the way every single kid on the team played today. They stepped up, they did what they had to do on the court, and we did the best we could.”

Grace Cozzens led Shenendehowa with 14 points. Kaleigh Montanez added 12 points, while Carey and Gabby Stuart each scored nine. Stuart also had seven rebounds.

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“Bri was tremendous,” Murphy said of Carey. “When we needed a couple go-to baskets, she got downhill. She drew a couple of key fouls on O’Meally. She played different spots for us.”

Reffelt paced Niskayuna with 16 points. O’Meally added 14 points, six rebounds and three blocks. Kathleen Birmingham added 11 points.

Everything Saratoga Springs-Ballston Spa

Shenendehowa 9 14 16 17 – 56

Niskayuna 15 4 16 15 – 50

Shenendehowa scoring: Milham 1-0-3, Montanez 5-0-12, Carpenter 0-1-1, Carey 3-2-9, Wilders 2-2-6, Delisle 1-0-2, G.Stuart 3-3-9, Cozzens 2-10-14. Niskayuna scoring: Roemer 1-0-3, K.Birmingham 3-2-11, O’Meally 7-0-14, Reffelt 6-4-16, Gonzalez 1-0-2, Schmidt 2-0-4. Team totals: Shenendehowa 17-18-56, Niskayuna 20-6-50.

Contact Will Springstead at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @WLSpringstead.

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

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