Basketball: Saratoga fends off Guilderland in overtime

Young guards step up for Blue Streaks

— The Saratoga Springs boys basketball team won its own tip-off tournament title, thanks to some late heroics.

Sophomore guard Chris Byno scored six of his 13 points in overtime, and junior guard Noah Arciero added four points and three steals to help the Blue Streaks edge Guilderland 66-64 in Saturday’s championship game.

The Dutchmen (1-1) received some overtime heroics from senior guard Brian Crupi, who hit a pair of three-pointers in the final 10 seconds to get Guilderland within striking distance. But Saratoga ran out the final three seconds to hold on for the win.

“That kid kept coming down and hitting those three-point shots,” said Saratoga coach Jack Brock. “He’s a great shooter.”

Three-pointers helped Guilderland build a 36-30 halftime lead against Saratoga (2-0). The Dutchmen hit six shots from behind the arc in the first half, including four threes in the second quarter. Junior guard Vince Simeone and freshman guard Andrew Platek each made a pair of threes in the first half.

Saratoga switched to a two-three zone defense in the second half, and that made a big difference. Guilderland struggled to hit long-range shots against the zone and couldn’t pull down offensive rebounds, which allowed Saratoga to claw its way back into the game.

“We play a two-three zone, but it acts more like a man-to-man defense because we come out and pressure the outside shooters,” said Brock.

“We didn’t get into our offense the whole second half,” said Guilderland coach Ron Osinski.

A pair of Nick Smith three-pointers capped a 12-2 Saratoga run in the third quarter that tied the score at 42. The senior swingman added a pair of free throws with 3.6 seconds left in the period to give the Blue Streaks a 50-48 lead.

Guilderland scored six unanswered points in the fourth quarter to gain a 54-50 advantage, but senior forward Jonathan Rach went on his own personal 6-0 run to put Saratoga ahead 56-54. Rach made a pair of free throws, sank a long jump shot and put back his own missed shot during the spurt.

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