The Shenendehowa girls bas-ketball team is getting used to winning ugly.
Less than 24 hours after beating Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 46-38 in double overtime, the Plainsmen hashed out a 34-29 victory over Guilderland in a defensive struggle last Saturday in Clifton Park.
These are the games that we're fortunate to pull out, said Shen coach Ken Strube. "We're winning ugly, but we're winning."
Save for one spurt in the third quarter, Shen's offense struggled. The Plainsmen (10-1 league, 12-3 overall) had trouble hitting their shots in the first half, and they made only four of their 14 free throws in the fourth quarter.
Fortunately for Shen, the defense came up with big play after big play. The Plainsmen forced Guilderland (3-8, 7-8) into bad shot after bad shot in the second half, which allowed them to rally from a 19-12 third-quarter deficit and hold on to their lead in the fourth quarter.
"Neither team was getting good looks (at the basket), and that's a tribute to both teams and how they play defense," said Strube.
Allie Setter and Marissa Ray led Shen's third-quarter rally. Setter scored seven points in the period, including the go-ahead basket with less than three minutes left, and Ray added five points to give the Plainsmen a 24-21 lead.
Setter finished with 11 points, and Ray added seven points for Shen. Melissa Winne's 10 points paced Guilderland.
Points were at a premium in last Friday's Shen-Burnt Hills game, as well. The Spartans (0-10, 1-13) scored nine points in the second quarter to take a 16-12 halftime lead. The Plainsmen responded in the third quarter by outscoring BH-BL 10-2, but the Spartans came back to tie the game at 25 and force overtime.
Both teams continued to struggle with their shots in the first overtime period before Shen finally got its offense going in the second extra period to pull away from a stubborn BH-BL squad.
Roz Alexander netted 14 points, and Setter contributed 12 points for Shen, while Georgina Farrow's 20 points paced BH-BL.
Shen and BH-BL return to action Friday with home games. Suburban Council South Division-leading Mohonasen visits Shen, which leads the North Division by two games over Niskayuna. Meanwhile, Guilderland makes its second trip to Saratoga County in a week to play BH-BL.""