Late threes push Saratoga past Colonie

SARATOGA SPRINGS — On Friday night, Saratoga learned a lesson. Sometimes, you have to just stay in the game to have a chance to win.

They did that as they took down Colonie at Saratoga Springs High School, upending them by a score of 61-56 to cap off a comeback effort.

Up two at the half and beginning to pull away in the third quarter, it seemed as if the Raiders were going to leave the gym with a victory. They had led by as many as nine early on in the fourth quarter.

In the fourth quarter, things had begun to take shape for Saratoga as AJ Lawton, who had not scored in the first three quarters, came up in the clutch, hitting a trio of three-pointers in the final frame including a three that upped a one-point Saratoga lead to a four-point Saratoga lead with just over three minutes to play, a shot that really put the Blue Streaks over the edge.

“In the fourth quarter, it was a close game, and I knew I needed to step up. I hit one; I was just trying to get open, and it came together. It was just a team effort,” Lawton said.

Saratoga’s comeback was very quick and sudden, erasing a nine-point deficit to take the lead in a matter of just over two minutes, going on a 10-0 run in that span of time.

“They didn’t quit. They kept fighting. Colonie made some big shots. They’ve got some good players, loved seeing our guys fighting back, hitting shots when we needed them, and we showed a lot of guts tonight,” Saratoga head coach Matt Usher said.

Early on in the night, it was a very back-and-forth game and fast paced overall. Nick Chudy came up big for Saratoga, with all of his points coming in the first half, and finished with 14 overall, 12 of them coming from behind the arc.

Saratoga led for most of the first half but never by more than nine as Colonie kept it close when they trailed. Vermont commit Isaiah Moll was a very big part of that effort as he finished the night with a game-high 26 points.

This victory comes as Saratoga’s third win in a row, and all three good wins for the team, on the road against Schenectady and beating Shenendehowa on Wednesday night before Friday’s game.

“We knew at the beginning of our season that the schedule was tough. We knew we had some big matchups early. To get through this week 2-0 says a lot about this team,” Usher said.

Saratoga improves to 3-1 on the season in league play, and 3-2 overall. They will play again on Tuesday, December 19, as they continue their homestand against Columbia. Game time is set for 7 p.m.

Colonie falls to 2-2 with the loss. They will also be back in action on Tuesday, against Niskayuna at home. Start time for that game will also be at 7 p.m.

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