The Shaker boys basketball team pulled off its biggest win of the season, but it wasn't as easy as it looked.
The Blue Bison fended off a furious second-half rally to pull out a 57-45 Suburban Council victory over South Division co-leader Guilderland last Friday in Latham.
Shaker (8-6 league, 9-9 overall) led 37-17 early in the third quarter before Guilderland (9-4, 11-6) started chipping away at the deficit. By the middle of the fourth quarter, the Dutchmen trimmed the Blue Bison's advantage to 47-43.
It was a heck of a second half, said Guilderland coach Ron Osinski. "We were down 20 (points), and we cut it down to four."
Shaker " which had suffered four league losses by three points or less " wasn't about to let this one get away from them, though. Chris Hooks tapped in a deflected shot, and Janique Lanier hit a layup and a foul shot for a three-point play to increase the Blue Bison's lead to 52-43. Guilderland never recovered.
"We didn't panic when we were in that situation," said Shaker coach Jeff Holmes. "We panicked in those types of situations earlier in the season."
The Blue Bison took command of the game in the first half. Lanier and Hooks combined for 12 points in the second quarter, and Shaker's defense limited Guilderland to five field goals over the first 16 minutes as the Blue Bison built a 26-10 halftime advantage.
"We knew they were a really good team, so I couldn't be happier with the way we came out and played, especially at the defensive end," said Holmes.
"We had 13 turnovers (in the first half) by my count," said Osinski. "I can't even say they played great defense, though, because as soon as we brought the ball up, we'd turn and shoot it five or seven seconds into the shot clock."
Lanier finished with a game-high 19 points. Hooks contributed 11 points, and Chris Seiter added 10 points for Shaker.
Jon Terry led Guilderland's comeback bid with 12 points, most of which came in the third quarter. Kevin Kost chipped in 11 points.""