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Shaker rolls past Troy

The fast start came a bit later for the Shaker girls basketball team.

The Blue Bison opened the second half with a 24-7 run on their way to a 63-30 non-league win against Troy last Wednesday.

Shaker (6-1) built a 27-18 halftime lead before firmly taking control in the third quarter and coasting to its sixth consecutive victory.

I think we were able to settle down and play our brand of basketball [in the third quarter], said Shaker coach Emily Caschera. "That hadn't been the situation in our previous games since our first game against Shenendehowa [a 47-35 loss]. We had been building big leads in the first quarter."

Shaker's primary scoring source against Troy was not one of the usual suspects " Lauren Woods, MacKenzie Rowland or Erica Houle. Reserve forward Mallory Dickson poured in a career-high 18 points, as she made nine of her 11 shots from the field.

"Mallory Dickson was on fire," said Caschera. "She was definitely a spark off the bench for us."

Houle contributed 13 points, and Rowland added nine points for Shaker, which was still recovering from a round of injuries and illnesses that left it short-handed in the days leading up to the Christmas break.

"It's been good to have almost everyone back again," said Caschera. "We were down to eight players at one point, and we dressed 10 players for the Troy game."

The injuries and illnesses didn't slow Shaker down. The Blue Bison downed defending Section II Class AA champion Bethlehem 60-34 and beat Guilderland 62-54 in their final two Suburban Council games of 2009, which raised their league record to 4-1.

The team's recent success is in stark contrast to last year, when Shaker lost nine consecutive games to finish Caschera's inaugural season as its coach.

"We ended last season with a nine-game losing streak, but by no means were we out of any of those nine games," said Caschera.

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