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SARATOGA COUNTY: Shen, 'Toga advance

Bishop and Stevens each scored 20 points to lead Saratoga. Stevens did most of his damage in the first quarter, when he netted 11 points, while Bishop scored most of his points in the second and fourth quarters.

"I was just trying to let the game come to me a bit," said Bishop, who missed most of last season with foot and ankle injuries. "I just felt I had to step up a bit in the second half."

"Having a point guard like Garrett Bishop makes my job easier," said Snyder.

Keefe netted 20 points for Troy, but he was silenced in the second half by Saratoga's defense.

"We just made a small adjustment of playing behind him, rather than going around in front (to defend him)," said Snyder.

Saratoga's next assignment won't be any easier, as the Blue Streaks meet Big 10 runner-up Bishop Maginn Friday at the Glens Falls Civic Center. Maginn pulled out a 67-59 victory over Colonie in another class AA quarterfinal game Sunday, led by Talor Battle's 24-point performance.

"Maginn's obviously a very good team," said Snyder. "They're going to pose some problems for us."

Like Saratoga, Shen (15-7) had difficulty putting LaSalle (9-13) away in their quarterfinal game. The Plainsmen led 16-8 after the first quarter and 33-24 at halftime, but the Cadets rallied to within two points twice in the fourth quarter before clutch free throws from Hammond and Michael Schauffert helped seal the victory.

"It was a dogfight, and we knew we had to battle to the last second," said Hammond.

What helped Shen avoid the upset was keeping fresh legs on the court. Dzikas substituted frequently, which allowed the Plainsmen to maintain a fast defensive pace that forced several LaSalle turnovers.

"We tried to keep guys off the floor (to prevent them from getting tired)," said Dzikas.

Hammond led a balanced Shen attack with 15 points, nine of which came in the first half. Bob Tudor contributed 13 points " all in the second half " and Todd Degnan added 10 points, including a layup off a steal with 15 seconds left that gave Shen a 61-57 lead.

The Plainsmen will be in another dogfight Friday in Glens Falls as they face undefeated Christian Brothers Academy. The three-time defending class AA champions downed Catholic Central 65-39 in the last quarterfinal game of the day.""

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