An all-around strong defensive performance led to Guilderland beating Saratoga on Friday night at Saratoga High School in a low-scoring affair by a final of 47-40.
Heading into the final quarter of the night, Saratoga found themselves trailing by five but in good position to make a comeback. However, in the fourth they found themselves struggling to put the ball in the basket and didn’t manage a field goal until less than three minutes left in the game. During that time, Guilderland struggled to score as well but still managed to pull out to a nine-point lead.
Saratoga began to come back, pulling the margin to as little as six points after a three from AJ Lawton with 35 seconds left, but it was too little too late.
“Great defensive effort. They’re a high-powered offensive team,” Guilderland head coach Mike Parks said. “To hold that team to 40 points in their gym, I was very proud of our defense.”
Saratoga would struggle with turning the ball over for almost the entire night, creating easy points for the Dutchmen.
“It was very sloppy on the offensive end tonight, around the rim and from the free-throw line,” Saratoga head coach Matt Usher said.
In the fourth quarter, Saratoga would only hit one field goal and eight free throws after they hit only four of them for the first three-quarters. They missed nine of their 21 total free throws for the game.
This among other things led to Saratoga only having two players in double-figures, Mike Tillman and Adam Anderson who had 10 points each. Matt Larkin and AJ Lawton added six points each for the Blue Streaks.
For Guilderland, it was a similar story, as they were led by Michael Wine who had 12 points. George Marinopolus scored 11, Michael Henderson had nine and Kevin Greene tacked on eight of his own.
“We’ve talked about sharing the ball and being unselfish. We’re getting there. We’re trying to improve as it gets closer to sectional time,” Parks added about his team sharing the ball.
Guilderland improves to 7-6 in Suburban Council play after the win, and 8-7 overall, sitting just above .500. They will play again on Tuesday, taking on Ballston Spa on the road. That one will begin at 7 PM.
Saratoga falls to 7-5 in league play, 9-5 overall, and have lost three straight league games after starting conference play 7-2. They have lost three of their last four.
“We’re going to reassess everything, try to stay positive, and look forward to the next game, but we’re definitely in a little of a funk right now,” Usher said.