By Michael Kelly
A winning streak that went back to 2014 ended Friday for the Shenendehowa boys’ basketball program.
Before its 61-52 home loss to Colonie, thanks to some clutch free throw shooting down the stretch.
Shenendehowa had won 55 consecutive league games. Within Section II play, the Plainsmen had also won 51 straight games.
In an interview a couple days before Friday’s game, Shenendehowa head coach Tony Dzikas had questioned if his program’s streaks could survive this regular season, which has seen increased parity within the Suburban Council.
“Maybe a loss wouldn’t be the worst thing for us — and I do think it will happen because it’s just so competitive this year,” Dzikas said. “If you look at our scores [this season], we’ve really had to battle.”
Before the start of their now-broken league streak, the Plainsmen had lost Jan. 4, 2014, to Columbia. Shenendehowa’s Section II streak began with the start of the 2014-15 season after falling Feb. 4, 2014 to Green Tech in a Section II Class AA semifinal.
In between those two 2014 defeats and Friday’s, the Plainsmen won two Section II Class AA titles, two regional championships and a state crown.
During its winning streaks, Shenendehowa’s closest victory was a 50-46 decision
Dec. 16, 2014, against Colonie, while its largest margin of victory came in an 86-18 win Dec. 1, 2015, against Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake.
Colonie pulled away by outscoring the Plainsmen 20-13 in the fourth quarter, during which the Garnet Raiders made 11 of 15 free throws.
Will Aybar led a balanced Colonie offense with 15 points, Isaiah Moll scored 13 and Bryce Waterman added 12.
Luke Hicks scored 25 points for Shenendehowa (11-1, 12-2), and Chris Hulbert scored 14.
Hulbert 3-6-14, Hicks 9-4-25, Benson 0-1-1, Pizziketti 6-0-12. Totals: 18-11-52.
Paszkowski 1-0-3, Aybar 6-0-15, Waterman 2-6-12, Moll 4-4-13, Mulson 4-0-10, Lewis 2-4-8. Totals: 19-14-61.
Shenendehowa 11 16 12 13 — 52
Colonie 8 18 15 20 — 61
Three-point goals: Hulbert 2, Hicks 3, Paszkowski, Aybar 3, Waterman 2, Moll, Mulson 2.