Girls basketball: Cusack leads Shen past Shaker

Plainsmen overcome size differential to beat Blue Bison

— While the Shenendehowa girls' basketball team may be diminutive in size compared to the towering Shaker Blue Bison, it was the Plainsmen that came up big Tuesday night as they knocked off the visitors 68-54 in a Suburban Council North Division game.

Both teams entered the contest undefeated in league play, and while Shen (7-0) has relied on its outside shooters thus far this season, Shaker (7-1 league, 8-2 overall) has gotten most of its offense from its inside game.

It was no different Tuesday night.

Shen's five-foot-seven guard Mary Kate Cusack scored 22 points and fueled a 26-12 third quarter surge with 12 points. Emily Weber contributed 19 points.

"The first half we played Shaker's pace,'' Cusack said. "We regrouped at halftime. We settled down in the third quarter. We passed the ball really well, and that opened up the perimeter."

Shaker scored the last nine points of the first half to lead 26-24 at the intermission, but Shen took control of the game in the third quarter.

Emily Weber nailed a three-pointer from deep in the corner and another jumper to give the Plainsmen the lead 34-32. Ali Lewis followed with a three-ponter from the opposite corner, and Shen led 37-32 iwth 4:28 left in the period. Two three-point plays and a three-pointer later, Shen had a 10-point advantage after three quarters.

"We are still trying to put four good quarters of basketball together,'' Shaker coach Emiy Caschera-Blowers said. "A lot of good things came out of the game. We fought hard, but we got overly aggressive and then we couldn't hit our shots.''

The two teams meet again in exactly one month, and Shaker's six-foot-three center Lauren Woods -- who led the Blue Bison with 22 points -- is looking forward to a chance to avenge Tuesday's loss.

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