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Colonie claims South Division title on final day

The Colonie boys basketball team doesn't care how it won the Suburban Council South Division title. All that matters is that the Garnet Raiders came out on top.

Colonie defeated Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 51-44 in last Tuesday's regular season finale. That combined with losses by Mohonasen and Guilderland gave the Garnet Raiders (12-4 league, 14-6 overall) sole possession of first place in the South Division.

We're proud to be South Division champions, said Colonie coach Doug Kilmer.

The chances of Colonie pulling off such a move didn't look good a month ago when it had a 2-4 league record following a 51-47 loss to Shenendehowa. But the Garnet Raiders won nine of their final 10 games including victories over Mohonasen and Guilderland.

Even so, Colonie still needed a little help to surpass Mohonasen and Guilderland. Mohonasen lost two of its final three games, while Guilderland dropped four of its last five to fall off Colonie's pace.

"With three games left, I told the guys that I thought we could win all three, and if you beat Mohonasen, then they weren't going to beat Saratoga (on the final day). It just worked out that way."

Colonie's turnaround can be traced to its ability to weather the occasional offensive slump.

"We've won all kinds of ways, and hopefully we can continue to do that and win a couple of games in Sectionals," said Kilmer.

The Garnet Raiders open the Section II, Class AA playoffs Wednesday by hosting LaSalle, a team that Kilmer said is more dangerous than its 6-14 record indicates.

"They are actually a solid team. They've had several close losses," he said. "They're definitely not a 6-14 team " they're definitely much better than that."

The Colonie-LaSalle game is part of a Sectional doubleheader at Colonie Central High School Wednesday. The Colonie girls team hosts Troy in a Class AA opening round game at 6 p.m.

In other Class AA boys basket-ball Sectional action Wednesday, Christian Brothers Academy hosts Bethlehem, while Shaker travels to Albany. The winner of the CBA-Bethlehem game meets either Colonie or LaSalle in Saturday's quarterfinal round at Hudson Valley Community College. The Shaker-Albany winner gets either Catholic Central or Albany Academy in Saturday's quarterfinals.

Loudonville Christian hosts Central Hudson Valley League rival New Lebanon in Wednes-day's opening round of the Class D boys basketball playoffs. The winner meets Sharon Springs in Saturday's quarterfinal round.""

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