Saturday, January 3, 2014 by Aidan Joly
Saratoga was able to make their way through a tournament of many good-caliber teams.
The Blue Streaks got to the finals of the 2014 Holiday Tournament, played December 27-28, before they were defeated by the Rice Green Knights, Vermont’s reigning state champions, by a score of 58-36. Alex Skaine led the way for the Streaks Sunday afternoon, who had 12 points. Chris Byno had eight and Liam Stewart and Darius Wicks each added five.
Byno was named to the All-Tournament team, averaging 10 points per game throughout the weekend.
Head Coach Matt Usher said of Byno’s weekend, “He played really well both nights, he helped us get the win [Saturday] night… and he makes us go as far as getting us into our sets offensively so.”
“We played good as a whole, we played together and we did good as a whole,” Byno said after the win on Saturday.
The Green Knights were led on Sunday by Elliott Nelson, who had 19 points, Kendrick Gray, who had 14 and Ben Shingu, who had 13. Gray was also named to the All-Tournament team and Shingu was named MVP of the tournament.
“I thought we went on some nice runs and we had some lapses in there as well, but obviously when you win, that’s always a good thing,” Knights coach Peter Pecor said of the win. “They’re our leaders, they’re both our captains, Benny Shingu played really, really well on both days,” he added about Shingu and Gray.
“I just thought I did the little things, rebounds, steals, trying to make an impact coming into the game,” said Shingu, the tournament was named MVP of the tournament after Sunday’s game.
Gray said, “I didn’t do really as well as I thought I could do this weekend.” He added that he was battling a minor sickness over the weekend.
Rice won the tournament after beating BBA Saturday by a score of 54-44.
To get to that final game, the Streaks beat Queensbury on Saturday night by a score of 50-45, ending a four-game losing streak. The Streaks were led Chris Byno, with 14, Liam Stewart, who had 12 and Alex Skaine, who added seven.
“I thought we really worked hard on the defensive end of the floor, stuck to the game plan, so it was nice to see us fight and scrap to get stops that we needed,” Usher said.
Queensbury was led on Saturday by Bailey Dray, with 14, Brett Rodriguez, with 12 and Keeghan O’Leary who had 10. O’Leary was selected for the All-Tournament team.
The Streaks are 2-6 on the season after the tournament and will be going on a two game road trip and will be back at home on January 13, playing Ballston Spa at 7 p.m.
Aidan Joly is a freshman covering sports for The Lightning Rod.