LATHAM Shaker girls basketball coach Emily Caschera-Blowers knows owning the Suburban Council's top seed for the Section II Class AA playoffs doesn't guarantee a trip to the finals.
“I think Sectionals and the regular season are two different things,” said Caschera-Blowers. “Obviously we're pleased with going undefeated this season … but now, we have the target on our backs. We also know that the top seed from the Suburban Council has been upset (beore the finals) … twice in the last six years.”
Shaker (16-0 league, 18-0 overall) completed a perfect regular season run with last Tuesday's 59-40 Suburban Council victory over Shenendehowa at Siena College. The Plainsmen (12-4, 14-4) made several small bids to close the gap after falling behind 30-22 at halftime, but the Lady Bison gradually pulled away to beat Shen for the second time.
“I was proud of the way we played,” said Caschera-Blowers. “Shen isn't going to go away, and good teams aren't going to go away. I'm proud of how we played and how we went through that game.”
Jenni Barra had 18 points, and Merrick Rowland contributed 11 points for Shaker. Carly Boland led Shen with 15 points.
Shaker is off until it hosts Friday's Class AA quarterfinal doubleheader. The Lady Bison meet the winner of Tuesday's opening-round game between Colonie and Guilderland in the nightcap. Shen takes on Catholic Central in the other quarterfinal at Shaker.
Caschera-Blowers said the time off between the regular season finale and the playoff opener doesn't bother her.
“We still have some new things to put in and some things to work on,” said Caschera-Blowers.
Colonie (7-9, 8-10) ended the regular season with last Tuesday's 59-44 loss at Bethlehem (14-2, 16-2). Nicole Riddick had 16 points, while Aliyah Massaconi contributed 12 points for the Lady Raiders, who fell behind 31-23 at halftime. Jenna Giacone paced Bethlehem with 17 points.
Colonie met Guilderland (7-9, 8-10) for the third time this season in Tuesday's opening-round game. Guilderland won the first regular season meeting 44-33 Dec. 13, while Colonie prevailed 46-42 in the rematch Feb. 4.