The Shenendehowa boys basketball team ran out of gas.
Matt Lee drained a long jump shot with one second left in regulation to force overtime, but Christian Brothers Academy took over from there to defeat Shen 63-56 in Tuesday's Section II, Class AA semifinal at Albany's Times Union Center.
It was a game of momentum, said Shen coach Tony Dzikas. "They started with it, we were able to get it toward the end (of regulation), and then they finished with it."
Shen (21-2) spent much of the second half chasing CBA (21-2) after the Brothers built a 29-19 lead early in the third quarter. The Plainsmen caught CBA late in the third quarter and even took the lead on three occasions, but the leads were all short lived as the Brothers kept making clutch shots.
"They haven't done anything pretty this season, but they've done what they've needed to in order to win," said CBA coach Dave Doemel.
In CBA's case, it was its interior defense that proved to be the difference. The Brothers prevented Shen from having clean pathways to the basket, which led to several Plainsmen turnovers as they tried to either drive to the hoop or pass the ball out to their guards.
"They did a good job of preventing ball penetration, and without it, we were unable to kick (the ball) back out and take outside shots in rhythm like we usually do," said Dzikas.
Shen's defense was just as stingy in regulation as CBA's defense. The Plainsmen forced 11 turnovers " an unusually high number for the Brothers " but CBA gathered itself in overtime and did a better job of executing at the offensive end. The Brothers wound up outscoring Shen 14-7 over the final four minutes.
"Tony (Dzikas) did a great job of changing up the defenses, which put us on our heels at times," said Doemel.