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Raiders win double OT thriller

The Colonie boys basketball team is still perfect, but it needed a big rally to remain unbeaten.

The Garnet Raiders overcame a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to force overtime, and hit several key free throws in the second overtime period to defeat Saratoga 71-67 in Friday's Suburban Council game.

It was a crazy game, said Colonie coach Doug Kilmer. "We were down 16 (in the second quarter), then up and then down again."

"They always say basketball is a game of runs, and that was certainly the case," said Saratoga coach Mitch Snyder.

The Blue Streaks (0-2 league, 1-3 overall) looked good early on, as they built a 29-13 lead in the second quarter behind their three-pronged attack of Jordan Stevens, Ryan James and Mike McCarthy. But Colonie (2-0, 4-0) went on a 12-1 run to pull within five points of Saratoga at halftime.

"We shot the ball well, and we shot the ball with confidence (early on), but they adjusted to that and took us out of our comfort level," said Snyder.

The Garnet Raiders rallied to take the lead in the third quarter before the Blue Streaks regained their stride late in the period. Eventually, Saratoga built a 55-45 advantage.

"We played a little better (in the third quarter)," said Kilmer. "We passed the ball around, instead of standing around and watching."

Colonie wasn't about to hand Saratoga the game, though. The Garnet Raiders went on a 13-3 run to tie the game at 58. The lead changed hands several times in the two overtime periods before Colonie pulled away in the second four-minute extra session.

"They made big shot after big shot to chip away at the lead and make it close, and it was a barn burner after that," said Snyder.

Jim Bacher scored 21 points, Tashan Newsome contributed 16 points and Herb Tedford added 14 points to lead a balanced Colonie attack. Sean Peer and Michael Branche each chipped in 10 points.

"We haven't played well offensively yet, but we've kept our heads above water so far," said Kilmer. "As I like to say, the click isn't there yet."

Stevens paced Saratoga with 18 points. James Tucker netted 16 points, while James contributed 15 points and McCarthy added 14 points.

Despite the slow start, Snyder sees promise with his Blue Streaks. "For us, it's important to remember that it's a long season. And judging from the way the kids have responded in practice, they understand that," he said.""

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