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Top four seeds advance to Class AA semifinals

Top four seeds advance to Class AA semifinals

Minutes into the second quarter of its Section II Class AA boys’ quarter­final against Niskayuna, Gr
Top four seeds advance to Class AA semifinals
Andrew Evans of Niskayuna pushes off Raki Johnson of Green Tech during one of Saturday's Section II Class AA quarterfinal games at Hudson Valley Community College.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber

Minutes into the second quarter of its Section II Class AA boys’ quarter­final against Niskayuna, Green Tech had a 22-point lead.

With 20.7 seconds to go, that lead was down to two points after a 3-pointer from Niskayuna senior guard Tommy Kelly.

“We knew they were going to make a strong run,” Green Tech head coach Jamil Hood Sr. said.

But Green Tech survived Saturday with a 73-67 victory, as senior forward Dasier Lukes scored a game-high 29 points to help the Eagles advance to the semifinals. Joining Green Tech (No. 3, 17-4) in that round of games Thursday at the Glens Falls Civic Center will be Shenendehowa (No. 1, 21-0), Guilderland (No. 2, 17-4), and CBA (No. 4, 16-6).

In the semifinals, Guilderland and Green Tech will play at 6 p.m., with Shenendehowa vs. CBA to follow.

Niskayuna (No. 6, 13-9) almost crashed that party. After a dreadful first quarter that saw the Silver Warriors shoot 2-for-8 from the field, 3-for-9 from the foul line and have nine turnovers, Niskayuna found life in a second quarter in which senior guard Andrew Evans, who scored a team-high 26 points, went 8-for-8 from the foul line.

“We adjusted to the speed of the game and started to break their pressure,” said Evans, whose squad trailed 39-25 at halftime and 52-37 after three quarters.

A couple minutes into the fourth quarter, Niskayuna began its charge. Down 62-48 midway through the period, Kelly led the Silver Warriors on a 19-7 run.

“The fourth quarter, he did exactly what he’s supposed to do: step up,” Hood said of Kelly, who scored 12 of his 19 points in the final quarter.

But after Kelly’s late 3-pointer, Lukes made a pair of free throws and a basket in the final seconds as Niskayuna’s surge ran out of time.

“We gave it our best shot,” Kelly said. “We just came up short.”

For Niskayuna, that meant a season ended at Hudson Valley Community College. Meanwhile, Green Tech will now ready for a rematch from last year’s semifinals with Guilderland, which the Dutchmen won.

“It’s a blessing,” Lukes said of the chance to earn some revenge while playing for a berth in the title game. “Not too many people get a second chance at something they want so bad.”

SHENENDEHOWA 65, SCHENECTADY 32

Shutdown defensive efforts in the first and third quarters helped propel Shenendehowa past Schenectady (No. 8, 12-10) in a low-scoring affair.

“It’s just about winning,” Shenendehowa head coach Tony Dzikas said. “You win, you move on; you lose, you pack up your stuff and go home. That’s just the way it is, so whether you win by 12, eight, five, or 45, it doesn’t make a difference.”

The Plainsmen held Schenectady to three points in the first quarter and five in the third, as Shenendehowa started the game with a 10-0 run and opened up the second half with a 16-0 spurt. Junior center Mike Pizziketti led Shenendehowa with 14 points, while Luke Hicks added a dozen.

Shenendehowa had beaten Schenectady 99-48 in the regular season, but Hicks said his squad had no trouble focusing against the Patriots.

“Really, there’s no favorites,” Hicks said. “Everyone is undefeated come sectionals.”

Playing without injured leading scorer Tobias Holmes, Schenectady took its time on offense and used a box-and-one defense to limit Shenendehowa senior guard Kevin Huerter to a season-low nine points on seven shots.

“Defense wasn’t our problem,” Schenectady head coach Eric Loudis said. “Our defense, we did a lot of good things, but we couldn’t capitalize on the other end.”

For the contest, Schenectady shot 12-for-49 from the field.

GUILDERLAND 58, SARATOGA SPRINGS 49

Andrew Sischo proved to be too much for Saratoga Springs, which had its upset attempt come up short against Guilderland.

Saratoga Springs (No. 10, 12-10) led 31-24 at halftime, but Sischo, the Dutchmen’s senior center, sparked Guilderland in the third quarter with 10 of his 15 points. Guilderland outscored Saratoga Springs 17-5 in the third quarter and never relinquished the lead in the fourth.

“We just wanted to keep moving the ball,” said Sischo, who was shut out through halftime. “They [Saratoga] were playing such good defense on us in the first half.”

Sischo added 19 rebounds

Junior forward George Marinopoulos led Guilderland with 20 points, while Saratoga Springs’ senior forward Alex Skaine had 18.

CBA 57, COLONIE 54

After falling behind 39-32 late in the third quarter, CBA rallied to advance.

The last lead for Colonie (No. 5, 14-8) came at 52-50 after sophomore forward Isaiah Moll converted a pair of free throws with 2:49 to go. From there, CBA got baskets from junior guard Nick DeBrino and sophomore forward Sloan Seymour to take the lead for good.

“This game was good for us because we found out what it was like to play in an atmosphere that was hectic,” CBA head coach Dave Doemel said.

A desperation 3-pointer from Colonie sophomore guard Will Aybar missed at the buzzer.

Seymour’s 21 points led all scorers.

GREEN TECH 73, NISKAYUNA 67

NISKAYUNA

Evans 7-11-26, Kelly 6-5-19, Detrick 5-2-12, Byrne 3-2-9, Funyak 0-1-1. Total: 21-21-67.

GREEN TECH

Lukes 11-5-29, Miller 5-3-13, Friend 4-0-9, Rowland 1-3-6, Davis 1-4-6, Ford 0-4-4, Johnson 1-0-2, Lind 1-0-2, Murphy 1-0-2. Total: 25-19-73

Niskayuna 7 18 12 30 — 67

Green Tech 23 16 13 21 — 73

Three-point goals: Kelly 2, Byrne, Evans, Lukes 2, Friend, Rowland.

SHENENDEHOWA 65, SCHENECTADY 32

SCHENECTADY

Williams 2-2-7, Ryals 2-2-6, Delagrandeanse 2-0-5, Jackson 1-0-3, Westbrook 1-0-3, Coles 1-0-2, Jenkins 1-0-2, Tchako 1-0-2, Wimbush 1-0-2. Total: 12-4-32.

SHENENDEHOWA

Pizziketti 5-4-14, Hicks 5-0-12, Bebic 4-1-9, Huerter 3-3-9, Collins 2-0-6, Warner 2-1-5, Beyer 1-0-3, Dzikas 1-0-2, Hulbert 1-0-2, Benson 0-1-1. Total: 25-10-65.

Schenectady 3 10  5 14 — 32

Shenendehowa 15 16 17 17 — 65

Three-point goals: Delagrandeanse, Jackson, Westbrook, Williams, Collins 2, Hicks 2, Beyer.

GUILDERLAND 58, SARATOGA SPRINGS 49

SARATOGA SPRINGS

Skaine 9-0-18, Sullivan 4-1-12, Clarke 3-0-6, Hart 2-1-5, Anderson 0-3-3, Lawton 1-0-3, Tillman 1-0-2. Total: 20-5-48.

GUILDERLAND

Marinopoulos 8-0-20, Sischo 7-1-15, Henderson 5-4-16, Wine 2-0-4, Morin 1-0-3. Total: 23-5-58.

Saratoga Springs 14 17  5 13 — 49

Guilderland 19  5 17 17 — 58

Three-point goals: Sullivan 3, Marinopoulos 4, Henderson 2, Morin.

CBA 57, COLONIE 54

COLONIE

Moll 5-7-18, Waterman 4-0-11, Aybar 2-5-10, Mulson 4-1-9, Paszkowski 2-0-4, Lewis 1-0-2. Total: 18-13-54.

CBA

Seymour 6-8-21, Wynn 6-4-18, Schultz 4-2-10, DeBrino 1-1-4, Trobridge 1-0-2. Total: 19-15-57.

Colonie 14 14 13 13 — 54

CBA 14 13 11 19 — 57

Three-point goals: Waterman 3, Aybar, Moll, Wynn 2, DeBrino, Seymour.

Reach Gazette sportswriter Michael Kelly at 395-3109, [email protected], or @ByMichaelKelly on Twitter.

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