COLONIE The Shenendehowa girls basketball team passed its first test of the season against a team that had been tested repeatedly.
Ali Lewis' layup with 25 seconds left in the fourth quarter lifted the Plainswomen (5-0) to a 48-44 victory over Colonie (4-1) in Tuesday's Suburban Council showdown.
"It wasn't an offensive clinic by any means," said Shen coach Ken Strube. "You're talking about two teams that, from a traditional standpoint, pride themselves on playing good defense."
Shen came into Tuesday's game having beaten its four previous opponents -- Niskayuna, Saratoga Springs, Ballston Spa and Guilderland -- by no less than 26 points. That would not be the case against Colonie, which had close victories over Averill Park and Bethlehem on its resume. The Garnet Raiders rallied from a six-point deficit to tie the game at 44 on Sydnie Rosales' scoop shot with 50 seconds left.
Lewis responded with a sweet move of her own. She drove from the three-point arc around the right side and then down the baseline before hitting the go-ahead layup.
"I just heard the coaches on the bench counting down the shot clock," said Lewis, who finished with nine points. "I saw that they were trying to force us baseline, and the rest of my team was on the other side of the court. So, I had an open lane to drive through."
"Ali Lewis, I thought, was spectacular tonight. She won the game for us," said Strube.
Colonie had a good chance to tie the game in the final 14 seconds. Rosales twice tried to drive to the basket for a layup, but her shots fell short. Rosales managed to tie up Shen's Mary Kate Dufort for one offensive rebound, but Dufort grabbed Rosales' second miss and was fouled with one second left to end Colonie's bid.