COLONIE: Raiders return to HVCC

So when Colonie went to halftime nursing an 18-15 lead, the concerns were real. And it got even more stressful when Liverpool started the third quarter strong and took a 21-20 lead, forcing Bonitatibus to use a time-out.

At that time, she said, she told her team to reclaim its defensive edge and get some more stops " which it did.

More than anyone else, Coles helped Colonie get back in control. The senior forward hit all eight of her points in the third period, boosting the Raiders to another seven-point lead before going to the final quarter with a 30-25 advantage.

Again, the tension built, as Liverpool closed within two points midway through the quarter. Shajuyigbe eased the tension, though, following up a pair of free throws with a huge three-pointer that made the 40-33 with 3:10 left.

The Warriors never got closer than five points the rest of the way, as Colonie sank most of its free throws down the stretch. Pintka hit four foul shots in a row, culminating a game where her inside skills confounded Liverpool. Both Shagjuyigbe and Sweeney finished with seven points to aid Pintka and Coles in the offensive effort.

Colonie is sure to have a large " and loud " contingent of fans Friday night at 6:15 when it faces Rush-Henrietta (Section V) in the state semifinals at HVCC. The winner gets Kingston or North Babylon in the title game Saturday night at 8:45.

Bonitatibus said that her players, as sixth-graders, watched Colonie win the state title in 2001 and are determined to do the same now.

"They've seen that experience (up close) and want to get into position to do that, too," she said.""

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