Try as they might, the Saratoga Blue Streaks couldn't bottle up Guilderland's guards all night.
The Dutchmen closed the game with a 17-5 run to defeat the Blue Streaks 64-45 in Friday's Suburban Council boys basketball game in Saratoga Springs.
A win right now is important, said Guilderland coach Ron Osinski. "To play good in a lot of spots I thought was a key."
Saratoga (2-4 league, 4-5 overall) was playing its first game without junior forward Jordan Stevens, who broke a bone in his left hand during the Arthur Hilliard Tournament in Schenectady one week earlier. And for one half, it appeared the Blue Streaks would be all right without their leading scorer, as they stayed close to Guilderland (6-0, 8-2).
"I was very happy with our effort and our execution," said Saratoga coach Mitch Snyder. "I added a lot of pressure on these guys (in practice) because we had only two days to make adjustments."
The primary adjustment Snyder made was slowing the tempo of the game by getting his younger players to pass the ball around and patiently look for the open shot. That might have frustrated Guilderland had the Dutchmen been looking to force the tempo in the first half, but they didn't.
"I thought we did a good job of being patient on defense because we didn't reach in a lot (to knock the ball away)," said Osinski.
Instead, Guilderland waited until the second half to turn up the tempo. Guards Andrew Smith and Kevin Kost got the ball up the court quickly, which forced Saratoga back on its heels defensively and opened the floor for Brett Marfurt and Jon Terry to make shots. Marfurt and Terry each finished with 18 points to lead the Dutchmen.
"I think Brett settled in (in the second half), and I think we gave him the ball where he had some good looks (at the basket)," said Osinski.