When the Ballston Spa boys basketball team needed a clutch basket, Chris Schaefer came through. It just took him a while to do it.
After missing several shots in the fourth quarter, Schaefer hit the go-ahead basket with less than two minutes left to help the Scotties defeat Wayne 54-49 in Saturday's second round of the Section II-Section V Challenge at Union College.
I kept going to him, said first-year Ballston Spa coach Shaun Redman. "He's my senior leader, and even after he missed a couple of shots, I had confidence he'd make one."
The Scotties (1-1) built a 37-31 lead in the third quarter, only to see Wayne (0-2) erase that with a 7-0 run. That began a series of lead changes that ran late into the fourth quarter before Schaefer drove the lane for the go-ahead basket. Carter Whyte added four free throws in the final minute to seal the victory.
Schaefer finished with 21 points, while Whyte and Cody Robinson each contributed 10 points for Ballston Spa. Conor Hennessy netted 11 points for Wayne.
The win came less than 24 hours after Batavia (2-0) beat Ballston Spa 63-38 at Mohonasen High School behind a 21-point night from Mike Hoy. Robinson's 12 points led the Scotties.
"(Friday night) was a difficult opener for us, especially with everything being new for the guys," said Redman, who guided Wellsville to the Section V, Class B finals last year. "(Against Wayne), I thought we were able to run our (plays) a little bit better."
Redman is hoping to mold the Ballston Spa program into the winner he built at Wellsville.
"It's a hard working bunch of kids," said Redman. "It's going to take a while because I'm trying to put in a whole new system, but they come every day to practice ready to learn."