Colonie, Shaker advance in lacrosse playoffs

Friday was a great day to be a boys lacrosse team from Colonie.

First, 10th-seeded Shaker pulled the upset of the Section II, Class A playoffs with a 7-6 overtime victory over second-seeded Guilderland. Then, No. 4 Colonie rallied from a 6-3 deficit to beat crosstown rival Christian Brothers Academy 13-7 to advance to the Sectional semifinals for the first time in several years.

We'll take this over any other (win), said Shaker coach Shawn Hennessey.

The Blue Bison (5-14) had been involved in nine one-goal games before Friday's victory, but won only one of those contests.

"You've got to give them credit. A lot of teams might have given up after losing as many close games as we did, and we didn't," said Hennessey.

Shaker took a 2-0 first half lead thanks in large part to goaltender Ken O'Connor. The sophomore kept Guilderland (16-3) off the scoreboard with a series of clutch saves.

"A lot of it was Kenny because when they were shooting, he was either making saves or they were missing the cage," said Hennessey.

Guilderland got to O'Connor in the second half, but Shaker was able to do enough offensively to force overtime. Then with less than five seconds left in the first overtime period, Stefan Debkowski scored his second goal of the game to lift the Blue Bison past the Dutchmen and into Tuesday's semifinal against No. 3 Shenendehowa.

Nick Smith contributed a pair of goals, and Luke Walsh added a goal and an assist for Shaker. O'Connor finished with 20 saves.

Shortly after Shaker celebrated its quarterfinal win, Colonie faced off against No. 5 CBA with a semifinal berth on the line. Initially, it appeared to be the Brothers' night as they built a three-goal lead late in the second quarter. But the Garnet Raiders (15-4) scored 10 of the last 11 goals of the game to pull away for the 13-7 victory.

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