Shenendehowa tops Niskayuna in boys’ basketball

Niskayuna's Jared Signor, left, boxes out Shenendehowa's Petar Bebic during a Friday, Feb. 5, 2016 boys' basketball game in Niskayuna.  (Michael Kelly/Gazette Sportswriter)Niskayuna's Jared Signor, left, boxes out Shenendehowa's Petar Bebic during a Friday, Feb. 5, 2016 boys' basketball game in Niskayuna. (Michael Kelly/Gazette Sportswriter)

BY MICHAEL KELLY
Gazette Sportswriter

NISKAYUNA — In recent games, Shenendehowa boys’ basketball head coach Tony Dzikas has worried his undefeated team has played not to lose.

“We’ve been playing tighter and I’ve been coaching tighter,” Dzikas said after his team’s 70-42 Suburban Council win Friday against Niskayuna. “We’re all competitive when we’re doing this — when we’re coaching, playing, whatever — and want to win, but I cared more tonight about us playing loose and having no fear of losing.”

Through one quarter, the Plainsmen likely did not live up to their coach’s wishes and clung to a two-point lead. But after the Silver Warriors took the lead seconds into the second quarter off a 3-pointer from senior Cliquijon Rock, the Plainsmen seemed to relax — and zipped off a 17-0 run in the course of a few minutes.

“It got away from us quickly,” Niskayuna head coach Bryan Mattice said. “We went from up two to down 15 in what seemed like the blink of an eye.”

Senior guard Kevin Huerter scored nine of his game-high 23 points during the run, which Shenendehowa (16-0, 19-0) spurred with its defense. In the 17-0 spurt, the Plainsmen forced Niskayuna (9-7, 11-8) into five turnovers and only allowed the Silver Warriors four shot attempts during the decisive stretch.

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About the Author

Michael Kelly
Michael Kelly is a sports reporter for Your Clifton Park and Your Niskayuna, weekly print publications of The Daily Gazette. Kelly grew up in Clifton Park and graduated from Shenendehowa High School in 2006. He is also a 2010 graduate of the Stony Brook University School of Journalism. Kelly's work has been honored by the New York News Publishers Association, the New York State Associated Press Association, and the Associated Press Sports Editors. His work has previously been featured in The (Amsterdam) Recorder, The Saratogian, and Albany Times Union.