By: Aidan Joly
On the final night of the regular season, the Saratoga boys’ and girls’ varsity basketball teams made sure that they went out on a high note as they both earned wins over Shaker on Tuesday night at Saratoga Springs High School.
On the girls’ side, it took until late in the game, but Saratoga was finally able to pull away in the fourth quarter courtesy of a 10-2 run to open up the fourth and ended up grabbing a 54-48 victory to start the night.
Saratoga went on a 12-2 run to close out the first half and own a seven-point lead at the break, but Shaker came storming back and eventually tied the game at 35 late in the third quarter, and it was tied at 37 at the end of three.
That 10-2 run to start up the final eight minutes gave the Blue Streaks a 47-39 lead and that proved to be enough as Shaker never got closer than three points, and two late free throws from Kerry Flaherty iced the game for a Saratoga victory.
“We were push it, push it, push it. Get the ball up the court and then see what happens from there,” Saratoga head coach Robin Chudy said. “And then again not give up on defense, not settle for an open shot for them, make them work for it.”
Saratoga was led by Flaherty, who had 16 points. Shaker’s Shyla Sanford led their offensive attack, scoring 18 points.
On the boys’ side, the Blue Streaks had to gut another win out, but held on to their winning streak as they beat Shaker 38-35, extending it to 18 games.
It was another game that stayed close the whole way through as neither side grabbed more than a seven-point lead through the first three quarters of play. Shaker cut Saratoga’s lead to 33-30 with six minutes left and then tied the game up at 35 on a free throw from Jack Bush with 2:30 to play.
After that, it was all Brian Hart as he sunk a free throw with 1:57 to play to give the Blue Streaks a one-point lead and then sunk a jump shot with 14 seconds left that iced the Blue Streaks’ regular season-ending victory.
“This group has worked incredibly hard. They don’t want to lose. They’re very unselfish. They just keep fighting for each other, and they don’t care who gets the points or how we win the game whether it’s pretty, ugly, high scoring or low scoring,” Saratoga head coach Matt Usher said.
Hart had nine points, second-highest on the team to Nick Chudy, who had 11. Jake Cook led Shaker with 13 points.
This ends the regular season for all four of these teams, and they now await their sectional seeding and assignment as the playoffs begin.