Story and photo by Aidan Joly
Saratoga used a huge night from Nick Chudy and their defense in order to roll to a win over Shaker on Thursday night 57-45 and extend their winning streak to five games.
The game was tied early on, but Saratoga went on a 14-0 run in a span of six minutes in the late parts of the first quarter and early on in the second quarter, giving them the edge, and they never looked back. The game was even after that which gave that run much more meaning.
Shaker did cut the lead at times during the game to as little as nine points, but the hot shooting of Saratoga kept the Blue Bison at bay throughout the night as well as their strong defensive effort.
“The defensive effort was great tonight. They really bought into the game plan and they executed it well, and if we keep working on that side of the ball, I think that it’s going to happen for us,” Saratoga head coach Matt Usher said of his team’s defensive play.
Additionally, the defense shut down Shaker’s two stars, Jake Cook and Sloane Seymour. Cook had six points while Seymour was held to five.
On the other side of the ball, the theme for this year’s team is that anyone can step up on any given night. It showed Thursday as Chudy poured in 27 points on the night and hit six three-pointers along the way.
“I got my shot going early on too, but this game I tried to continue it out with the game, because last game I had three threes in the first quarter, and I didn’t shoot anymore, so coming into the game today, my mindset was just to keep shooting and keep playing,” Chudy said.
“It’s a different guy every night for us. It’s something that I’m not used to and still trying to get comfortable with because it makes it unpredictable. When you go in, you don’t know who it’s going to be,” Usher said.
Saratoga has won five games in a row with this win and are looking to become one of the hottest teams in the Suburban Council as everyone heads into the holiday break.
“They’re shooting the ball well, and I love to see the intensity that we’ve been playing with on the defensive side of the ball,” Usher said.
Saratoga improves to 5-2 on the season. They will play again on Friday, January 5 as they take on Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake at home. That game will begin at 7 p.m.
Shaker is also 5-2 on the year. They will play again on the same day, returning home to play Averill Park, a 7 p.m. tip.