Round one goes to the Shenendehowa Plainswomen.
Bre O'Dell sank the go-ahead jump shot with less than 30 seconds left to lift Shen past Colonie 47-43 in Friday's Suburban Council Blue Division girls basketball game in Clifton Park.
It feels great, said O'Dell, who finished with a team-high 16 points. "We've been looking forward to this night all season. To win this feels great."
Colonie (7-1 league, 11-1 overall) rallied from an eight-point halftime deficit to take a 38-33 lead early in the fourth quarter, but clutch baskets down the stretch from O'Dell, Sarah Waltersdorf and Kelsey Allen helped Shen (8-0, 10-1) pull out the victory.
"The outcome wasn't what we hoped for, but I can't fault them for their heart," said Colonie coach Karen Bonitatibus.
Shen's defense took Colonie out of its game plan early on by focusing on the Lady Raiders' leading scorer, Logan Pintka. The Plainswomen double-teamed Pintka every time she had the ball and forced her to either pass to a teammate or miss a shot. By halftime, Pintka had only two points, both of which were the result of free throws.
"That was all (assistant) coach Joe Murphy," said Shen head coach Ken Strube. "He did a great scouting job on Colonie, and he devised a great game plan to take her shots away."
O'Dell and Waltersdorf helped Shen build a 27-18 halftime lead with strong first quarter performances. The two seniors combined for 12 of their team's 16 points in the opening period, and O'Dell added four points in the second quarter to finish with 11 points in the half.
Colonie found its shooting touch in the third quarter. The Lady Raiders outscored Shen 14-4, buoyed by a pair of three-pointers from senior guard Stephanie Sweeney. Taylor Amarando added a free throw with 12 seconds left to give Colonie a 32-31 lead entering the fourth quarter.