New York

Albany’s depth and defense generates girls’ basketball road win at She

CLIFTON PARK — The Shenendehowa girls’ basketball team managed to connect with 12 three-pointers against Albany on Tuesday night. The Plainsmen did little else well, however, as the visitors created all sorts of problems using both zone and man-to-man defense.

The Falcons also had more players involved in scoring and got six players to score at least seven goals or more and achieved a solid 63-54 Suburban Council away win.

“We were prepared for that,” said Albany junior guard Iyanna Weeden, who led the Falcons with 17 points. “It’s all about effort.”

“I feel great to know that they are all ready and have understood their role,” Albany coach Decky Lawson said. “They don’t care who starts or stops.”

“It’s nice to know that we can go to all five people and some on the bench and know we’re going to get points,” said second-year Albany point guard Azera Gates.

Albany (13-1, 8-1), ranked 17th in the most recent Class AA state poll, limited Shenendehowa (12-3, 6-2) to 32.1 percent shooting from the field. The Plainsmen only made five two-point baskets.

“We missed a lot of chippies in the paint. It’s just the gameplay,” said Shenendehowa coach Joe Murphy.

Shenendehowa opened a 9-4 lead as senior guards Bri Carey (18 points) and Kayleigh Montanez (12 points) each lost 3-pointers. Albany, playing a 3-2 zone, reeled off the last 11 points of the opening quarter to lead 15-9, and the Falcons led 34-26 at the break as senior guard Navaeh House eight of the second quarter scored 10 points.

Weeden scored seven points in the third quarter as Albany led 45-35 for 24 minutes.

No. 11 in Class AA, Shenendehowa knocked down five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and rallied within 49-47 with 4:14 left. Gates (eight points) responded with a drive and score, Weeden set up Jordan Johnson for a layup and then added a three-point play as the visitors extended the lead to 56-47 with a 3-17 lead.

“When they went on that run, we had to calm down and keep our composure,” Gates said. “We knew that eventually they would run.”

“I think we move the ball and share it with each other,” Weeden said.

“We weren’t ready defensively,” Murphy said. “Believe them. They played well. Neither of us had practice (Monday) so it wasn’t a problem. We just didn’t play well.”

Albany’s only loss came against Bethlehem, the only Suburban Council team without a league loss. Lawson sees his team using this loss as fuel.

“Of course it definitely bothered us. We’ll get it back,” Weeden said. “It was an off-game that day and we’ve shown it was an off-day ever since.”

“Since that loss we’ve been working harder in training. We’re determined to win,” Gates said.

“The loss to Bethlehem really woke us up,” said Lawson. “It was something we really needed because we played like nobody could beat us.”

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