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Raiders get act together

It didn't help Saratoga that its leading scorer, Jordan Stevens, sat out the game with a broken left hand " an injury he sustained at last month's Hilliard Tournament in Schenectady. Since Stevens' injury, the Blue Streaks have lost six consecutive games.

"We won by 32 points, and I don't think (Stevens) is worth 32 points by himself," said Kilmer. "But the difference is when they get down now, they don't think they can come back because he's not out there."

Colonie has no such concerns on offense. The trio of Herb Tedford, Tashan Newsome and Jim Bacher are as healthy as they have been all season, and Sean Peer occasionally chips in with a double-digit point night. All four reached double digits against Saratoga, with Tedford's 17 points leading the way. Bacher contributed 14 points, Peer chipped in 12 points and Newsome added 10 points.

Following Tuesday's game against Ballston Spa, the Garnet Raiders have two games left before the Suburban Council Tournament " a Friday showdown with crosstown rival Shaker, and a contest against Shen next Tuesday that could determine the Blue Division title. The Plainsmen entered their Tuesday game against Guilderland with an 8-3 league mark, one game behind Colonie.

Before the Garnet Raiders can worry about Shen, though, they have some other obstacles to dodge.

"Right now, we're focused on Ballston Spa, but we're looking forward to (Friday) night," said Kilmer. "Shaker will be a very tough team. They're well coached, and they always play us physical."

Shaker (4-7, 5-9) has been playing better basketball of late, too. The Blue Bison have tangled with some of the top teams in the Suburban Council and have split their last four games, including a 57-49 victory over Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Jan. 18.

Shaker's most recent game was a 61-48 loss to Shen Friday, but that game wasn't decided until the fourth quarter when the Plainsmen outscored the Blue Bison 17-13 to wind up with their 13-point margin of victory.

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