By Aidan Joly
SARATOGA SPRINGS --
After an even first half, Shenendehowa girls’ basketball picked it up in the second half and it resulted in a 66-51 win against Saratoga on Wednesday night at Saratoga Springs High School.
Holding a two-point lead at halftime, the Plainsmen turned on the jets in the third quarter, outscoring Saratoga 22-9 in the third stanza to open up a 15-point lead. 18 of those 22 points came from Jillian Huerter and Kaleigh Montanez, who scored 25 and 15 points respectively. Huerter added 10 rebounds and seven assists on the night as well.
“We stepped into the locker room and kind of composed ourselves, we said ‘hey, this is a good game, this is the kind of game we want.’ We all saw the first half and what went well and what didn’t go as well, so we took notes and we executed in the second half,” Huerter said.
Things were more of the same in the fourth quarter as Shen opened up as large as a 24-point lead in the waning minutes of the game. Bri Carey was the star in the fourth as 10 of her 16 points came in the final eight minutes.
“We put in a different press break at halftime, we got kids playing different positions because we have a couple kids out right now, so we were a little undermanned, but they stepped up and played well,” Shenendehowa head coach Joe Murphy said. “The biggest thing it came down to was we made some shots.”
The first half was a little bit leaning towards Saratoga as the Blue Streaks opened up a seven-point lead at one point during the second quarter. However, right after, it was Shenendehowa’s 19-2 run that encompassed the end of the second and beginning of the third that did Saratoga in.
“Our shooting percentage wasn’t great tonight as a team. So, when we had those open shots from the outside perimeter, we didn’t hit them and I think Shenendehowa did a very good job of passing the ball and getting it to the open person and unfortunately for us, they hit a lot of their outside shots,” Saratoga head coach Robin Chudy said.
The Blue Streaks were led by Tash Chudy, who had 29 points. Carly Wise had 16 points as well, with the pair scoring all but six of the team’s points. The Blue Streaks drop to 3-4 on the season.
Shenendehowa improves to 4-0 on the season with the victory.
“It’s definitely a good battle, I think it’s good for both teams to get better,” Huerter said. “This is an early game in the season so we can both get better and learn from it.”