Ashley Loggins and Sydnie Rosales have been teammates on the basketball court since the seventh grade.
Loggins and Rosales showed just what camaraderie can do. The duo combined for 45 points to lead Colonie past Albany 64-55 in Saturday's Section II Class AA championship at Hudson Valley Community College.
The Lady Raiders advance to next weekend's regional final, where they will take on Section III champion Cicero-North Syracuse at HVCC.
"Playing for so long, we work well together," said Loggins, who with finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds and was named to the All-Star team. "We started slow and struggled a bit. When I saw Sydnie get on fire, I got excited. When I score, she gets pumped up. It made us want to win it so much more."
Colonie took an 18-11 lead after the first quarter, but Albany battled back and tied the game at 27 at halftime as Cara Waterson hit a shot at the buzzer. The Lady Raiders regained the lead on Kawandi Young's basket to start the third quarter, and Rosales scored 11 of her team's next 12 points of the period to put Colonie ahead 43-37.
"Albany played great, and we had to fight for every basket," said Colonie coach Heather Fiore. "We let up a little in the first half, but Sydnie (Rosales) hit a couple of big threes and Ashley (Loggins) had some major rebounds and good put backs. We have four players who average double figures, so you never know who is going to play big.''
"We had the mentality that we were not going to lose this game," said Rosales, the tournament MVP. "As soon as they picked it up, we didn't let down. We needed to stay focused and be ourselves and that's what we did."
Albany hung around and closed the gap to five points on Melissa Canty's basket with 2:16 left in the fourth quarter. But Loggins and Rosales teamed up to score Colonie's final eight points, which sealed the Falcons' fate.
"We had opportunities, but we didn't capitalize," said Albany coach Kelly Haggerty-MacNabb. "We missed layups, we missed free throws and we had defensive lapses."
Rosales finished with 23 points, and Loggins chipped in with 22 points for Colonie. Jaclyn Welch added 12 points, and Young pulled down 11 rebounds.
Emia Willingham-Hurst had 19 points and 12 rebounds, and Breahanda Stratton contributed 13 points for Albany.