Thursday, January 22, 2015 by Aidan Joly
Liam Stewart knew it was his quarter, and he came up big in the final eight minutes.
Saratoga varsity basketball defeated Colonie on Tuesday night at Saratoga Springs High School by a score of 55-49, to continue a hot streak. The Streaks have won four of their past eight games after a 1-6 start to the year, and have improved their record to 5-9.
“It was a great win over a good team,” Saratoga head coach Matt Usher said after the game. “It’s a good opportunity to improve and move forward.”
The Streaks were led by senior Liam Stewart, who had 21 points, a season high for him. Chris Byno followed with 13 and Sean Grecco added nine. Colonie was led by Nolan Smith, who had 16 points, Jack Foouacre, who had 11 and Josh Paskowski, who added ten.
“I think the whole team played really well and we jacked up our energy in the fourth quarter, and that’s what got us over the hump when they came back a little bit,” Stewart said. “I was just attacking the hoop and I made a couple of shots.”
Stewart made a three pointer late in the game to end a Colonie run, in which Saratoga’s lead was cut from nine to three in under a minute. He also made a shot while being fouled and made the following free throw to convert on a three point play. Stewart scored 12 of Saratoga’s 14 fourth quarter points.
“That was huge,” said Usher. “We had a couple times where we needed to score to end their run and he stepped up and gave us that basket.”
Colonie came out strong, leading 15-12 after a quarter had been played. Saratoga overtook them in the second quarter for a 24-23 halftime lead. The Streaks extended their lead to 41-34 during the third quarter, when Byno made a buzzer-beater to end the quarter, and they were able to cruise through the final quarter to the 55-49 win.
Byno said of his 13 point game, “I was just trying to get to the hoop a little bit more, and when I had an open look, I was feeling it.”
Saratoga is now 5-9 on the year, and are looking to have a .500 record by the end of the season. They will be playing at home on Friday, taking on Niskayuna in their second-to-last home game of the regular season.
The Streaks swept Colonie in all three levels, with the junior varsity team taking a win and the freshman team grabbing a thrilling win by a score of 42-40.