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Balanced Bison win

The Shaker boys basketball team might not have gotten the sweep it was looking for at last weekend's Shenendehowa Tournament, but it earned a valuable non-league victory over one of Section II's traditional powers.

The Blue Bison used a balanced attack to defeat Schenectady 61-50 in Friday's opening round, but they couldn't match the effort in a 61-44 loss to East High of Rochester in Saturday's second round.

We played very well Friday night. I was pleased with that, said Shaker coach Jeff Holmes. "I thought we had a little bit of a let down Saturday night, but it wasn't from a lack of effort. It was from a lack of experience."

The Blue Bison showed no signs of inexperience against Schenectady. Led by sophomore Chris Hooks' 15 points and Virginia transfer Ryan Sullivan's 14 points, Shaker handled one of the Big 10's premier teams.

Unfortunately for the Blue Bison, the inexperience showed the next night against East. The Orientals went on a 30-6 run to open the game before cruising to the win.

"We kept playing. It was just that the shots that fell for us the previous night didn't fall for us this time," said Holmes.

Hooks had another solid game for Shaker, scoring a team-high 11 points against East. But Holmes said if the Blue Bison are going to have success in the Suburban Council this year, they'll need other players such as Sullivan and John Weinheimer to step up.

"If we can get guys who can contribute six to eight points a game, we should be fine," said Holmes.

The Blue Bison will have another non-league tune-up before the Suburban Council season begins next Tuesday. They will host Christian Brothers Academy Saturday in the first of two games against last year's Section II, Class AA finalists.

"I think it will really prepare us for the season to have these non-league games," said Holmes.

The Colonie boys basketball team will begin its season this weekend with its annual tournament.""

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