Colonie 60, Shaker 55
Mid-January can accurately be described as the beginning of the 'dog days' of high school basketball season. Over two months since the season started yet still a month away from sectional season, teams can fall victim to a bit of malaise from time to time. Thankfully, this was far from the case on Tuesday night in Colonie. In the battle of South vs. North Colonie, both sides came with a spirited effort in a game that had more of a late February feel. Shaker made Colonie sweat until the bitter end, but the hosts made enough plays in the 4th quarter to gain some separation and hold off one last Shaker push in the final minute.
|Aliyah Wright finished with 15 points Tuesday to pace Colonie in their victory.|
After Colonie went into the locker room up 7, they came out and got baskets from Pearson and Aliyah Wright (Colonie 2019; New Haven signee) to give them their largest lead at 39-28. Then Shaker, whose calling card this year has been their scrappiness, used it to claw back into the game. A pair of Carrington free throws started off their run. After Kaelah Carter (Shaker 2022) and Blake traded baskets, Shaker would go on an 8-0 run - including a pair of driving layups from Carrington and ending with another Carter bucket - to tie it up at 42. Colonie would eventually the quarter up 3 after a drive & finish from Wright to end it on a positive note for the hosts. They would continue that energy into the 4th quarter to gain separation once again. Sareena DiCerbo (Colonie 2020) scored to start the 4th, and by the time Pearson added a three-point play off a drive from the left wing, Colonie had gone on a 10-2 run with 5 different Raiders in on the scoring. That put them up 54-45 with 4:30 left. The Bison had one more serious push left in them, though. A 6-0 run culminating with another Carrington layup cut their deficit to 3 with under two minutes left. After a timeout, Colonie was able to get a much needed basket to stop the bleeding. Kyara Triblet (Colonie 2019; St. Michael's signee) found Alivia Paeglow (Colonie 2019) wide open off a side ball screen, who finished late in the shot clock. After a couple empty possessions, DeBeatham answered to cut it to 3 once more with :28.6 left, but Colonie sandwiched a stop in between 4 made free throws to put the game on ice.
|Julia DeBeatham had a solid game for Shaker, finishing with 13 points & 3 steals as part of a potent backcourt combo.|
- I should start off by saying that on this night, this rivalry game was certainly bigger than basketball. The raffles, the decorations, the halftime contest, the pink shirts. Tuesday night's Coaches vs. Cancer game had someone close to home in mind. You may have seen the #ShootingForSyd trend on social media. Proceeds through various outlets during the game - donations, raffles, bake sale, 50/50 - went to support young Sydney Leonard, a relative of both Shaker player Maddisyn Mahoney & Colonie assistant coach Tanya Hansen, who was diagnosed with Wilms' tumor a few months ago. A quality game around quality people with funds going to a fantastic cause. The atmosphere during the game was more of a playoff feeling, but it was also great to see the sides come together for an aforementioned 'bigger than basketball' moment.
- Now about the game itself. I'll give everyone on a team $20 if they can find a way to stay in front of Solé Carrington this winter... just kidding, I'm too broke for that. But the sentiment remains. I've watched Shaker three times so far this winter, and the 2021 PG might as well pay rent in the paint with how much she has been living there. The scouting report on her has read that she wants to get to the rim for a while, but what has changed is how she does it. She's becoming much more effective at using change-of-speed moves & changing her own center of gravity. She's getting defenders to step back onto their heels or stand up straight, and that's all she needs to be able to blow by. Considering the opponent and how she was able to produce on top of the actual numbers, this was one of the best overall showings I've seen from her. It's safe to say that Solé has been a breakout performer in the Suburban Council and Section 2 as a whole this winter.
|When Ahnalese Pearson produces, it's a major stimulant for the Colonie team - she had 14 in their win Tuesday, including a personal 7-0 run in the 1st half.|