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Girls basketball: Shaker and Colonie advance into the semifinals

Rowland's 17 points leads balanced Bison attack against Maginn

Shaker’s Madison Rowland takes a shot while guarded by two Bishop Maginn players during last Friday’s Section II Class AA playoff game.

Shaker’s Madison Rowland takes a shot while guarded by two Bishop Maginn players during last Friday’s Section II Class AA playoff game. Robert Goo

— There will be another Colonie crosstown battle in girls basketball.

Shaker and Colonie advanced to meet each other in Wednesday’s Section II Class AA semifinals after posting quarterfinal victories Friday in Latham. Shaker eased past Bishop Maginn 73-46, while Colonie hung on for a 55-48 win against Catholic Central.

The crosstown rivals met once this season, with Shaker prevailing 59-49 in a Suburban Council match-up. The Lady Bison have defeated the Lady Raiders three consecutive times, including in last year’s Class AA final.

Still, Shaker coach Emily Caschera-Bowles isn’t taking anything for granted. “Colonie is playing very well right now,” she said. “And in the last few years, the No. 1 seed has lost in Sectionals.”

Shaker (17-2) received the No. 1 seed out of the Suburban Council after winning a coin flip against Shenendehowa, which tied the Lady Bison for first place in the North Division. And Shaker played like a No. 1 seed against Bishop Maginn (10-10), as it jumped out to a 36-25 halftime lead and then opened the third quarter on a 10-2 run to put the quarterfinal game out of reach.

“I think we’re playing really good basketball right now,” said Caschera-Bowles. “We showed a lot of scoring threats tonight.”

Madison Rowland was Shaker’s primary threat, as the junior guard scored 17 points in three quarters of work. Lauren Woods contributed 15 points, while MacKenzie Rowland and Adriene Gambles combined to score 17 points.

“We have a deep team,” said Caschera-Bowles. “We have 13 people who can legitimately play for any other team in the Suburban Council.”

Colonie (16-4) fended off a comeback bid by Catholic Central (12-8) in its quarterfinal win. The Crusaders rallied from an 18-point deficit early in the third quarter to get within three points of the Lady Raiders by draining nine three-pointers in the second half.

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