BY MICHAEL KELLY
CLIFTON PARK — On break from game action since Feb. 9, top-seeded Shenendehowa had more turnovers than points through the first few minutes of a matchup with Catholic Central in the Section II Class AA girls’ basketball tournament Monday.
But midway through the first quarter, a quick flurry got the Plainsmen right in a hurry. Pressure defense and the resulting fast-break layups helped Shenendehowa turn a 4-3 advantage into a 10-3 lead, and the Plainsmen coasted from there to a 72-46 win.
“We had to shake the rust off a little bit,” senior guard Carly Boland said. “But once we got going, we were able to separate.”
The quick 6-0 spurt took less than a minute to complete, with Boland providing two of the baskets and sophomore guard Alexandra Tudor adding the one that caused a Catholic Central timeout.
That stretch was part of a larger 15-0 run for Shenendehowa, which led 33-16 at halftime and saw its lead grow to its largest midway through the fourth quarter at 33 points.
“Once we got going,” Boland said, “it was pretty easy for us to get back into gear.”
For Shenendehowa (No. 1, 19-2), it was a balanced scoring effort. Boland’s 14 points led the Plainsmen, junior forward Sydney Brown added 11, three players — senior forward Morgan O’Brien, senior guard Sydney Quinn, and sophomore guard Cam Tooley — had nine, and senior forward Samira Sangare added eight.
“We’ve always talked team, team, team,” Shenendehowa head coach Joe Murphy said. “Tonight, we showed it.”