Saturday, March 6, 2010

Shen makes it a perfect 10, tops Shaker in Class AA final

Video highlights from Shen's victory over Shaker in the 2010 Section II Class AA title game:




Shenendehowa High School girls basketball players celebrate their Section II Class AA championship game victory over Shaker. The Lady Plainsmen won, 47-42. It was the 10th Section II girls basketball title in the school's history. (Photo by Erica Miller - The Saratogian).

The last time the Shenendehowa High School girls basketball team faced Shaker, they needed a buzzer-beater to fend off the Blue Bison.

The final margin was close in Saturday’s Section II Class AA championship game, but it wasn’t razor-thin.

Shaker High senior Erica Houle buried a pair of 3-point field goals in the fourth quarter as the Blue Bison rallied to within three points with 20 seconds to play. Although Shenendehowa made just four of the 12 free throws it attempted in the final period, the Lady Plainsmen earned the 10th Section II title in school history by posting a 47-42 victory in the McDonough Sports Complex at Hudson Valley Community College.

"We knew from the beginning that it was our game," said Shen junior Allie Setter, who was named tournament MVP. "We wanted this championship so bad. We knew we could beat Shaker if we played our game and this meant so much to all of us. I’m very excited."

Looking back on the 10 championships, Shenenedehowa head coach Ken Strube was most proud of how consistent the program has been since winning its first title in 1987-88.

"The beauty of each one of these is that they’ve been kind of spread out with the exception of a few in the early ‘90s," Strube said. "So, each championship is with a totally new group of kids. Not that it wouldn’t be exciting to win it three or four times in a row with a particular group of kids, but it’s about seeing the excitement that they have and watching how in the last minute and a half they compose themselves."

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Shaker made a nice run through the postseason and they also made a nice run late in Saturday's game.

With Shen, Colonie, Averill Park and Mohonasen expected to do most of the damage in the Suburban Council this season, the Blue Bison were flying a bit under the radar with a talented yet young roster.

The future certainly looks bright for Shaker, as Lauren Woods, MacKenzie Rowland and Madison Rowland make up a long and lean frontcourt of the future.

They'll miss seniors Erica Houle, Rhiannon Spencer and Amanda Phillips, but Shaker will certainly be in the mix next season.

"I don’t think this was an expectation for anybody," said Shaker head coach Emily Caschera. "We didn’t come in saying, ‘Let’s be Section II champs,’ after having a 6-15 season last year. We came in trying to do our best to get the best seeding and play well in the tournament. We were playing great basketball when in counts in sectionals. Unfortunately, Shen is really good. They’re tough and we just couldn’t pull it out."

2009-10 Section II Class AA girls basketball All-Tournament Team:

Maria Foglia, Sr., Catholic Central
Tehresa Coles, Jr., South Colonie
Erica Houle, Sr., Shaker
MacKenzie Rowland, Soph., Shaker
Marissa Ray, Sr., Shenendehowa
MVP - Allie Setter, Jr., Shenendehowa

-- Look for video highlights coming soon.

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