Saratoga boys basketball holds off Albany 66-60

Saratoga Springs, NY — Continuing a season trend, Saratoga had to hold off a team in a close game, and they did it again.

The Saratoga Blue Streaks defeated the Albany Falcons on Tuesday night at Saratoga High School in a close one with a final score of 66-60.

Heading into halftime up by just seven points after leading by 16 at the end of the first quarter, changes had to be made. When that did not work, Saratoga had to rely on strong offensive play to help them hold off a hard-charging Albany squad. That they did, and the Blue Streaks held on in the fourth quarter, finally sinking Albany for good in the final minute with a layup by AJ Lawton that put them up by eight.

Things hadn’t been so hard for Saratoga in the early portions of the game, as they went on a 25-0 run in the first quarter after Albany scored the first basket of the game, and ended up leading 25-2 just five minutes into the game, making it look like they would cruise to a victory.

What followed made the game very interesting, as Albany played physically tough and were scoring in bunches, tying the game up at 46 heading into the final quarter of play.

“We have to do a better job handling pressure, making good decisions when we’re getting trapped, and not letting teams’ defenses dictate what we do,” Saratoga head coach Matt Usher said.

Early in the fourth, Albany took the lead for the first time since they were up 2-0 with 5:50 to play after a put-back layup from Quiddus Terry that made it 52-51. They would jump out to a four-point advantage after a three from Jacorey Nixon, making it 55-51. Saratoga would re-take the lead 57-55 with 2:09 to play, giving them the edge for good.

In the early stages, it was a game of runs as Saratoga started off leading 25-2, and then Albany would go on a 17-6 run to get back into the game and would later make it close, but the Falcons came up short.

Usher said that rebounds hurt his team during those runs. “They continued to hurt us on the glass, and that was how they scored and got the lead in the fourth,” he said.

Saratoga was led by Adam Anderson who tallied 22 points on the night, eight of them coming in the fourth. AJ Lawton had 15 for Saratoga and Brian Hart and Mike Tillman had 10 each.

For Albany, Ja’Quan Bertrand led with 15 points. Dylan Jorge had 12 points and, Matthew Coons tacked on 10 of his own.

Albany falls to 4-5 on the season with the loss, 4-4 in league play. They will play again on Friday, at home, against Guilderland. That game will start at 7 PM.

Saratoga is now up to 7-2 on the season following the victory. They will be back in action on Friday on the road against Burnt Hills. They will be back at home on Tuesday January 17, taking on Averill Park. Both of those games will start at 7 PM.

Aidan Joly

Aidan Joly joined Upstate Courier Sports in February 2016 and became managing editor of the sports department in August 2017. He covers Section II athletics, the Siena men's basketball team and the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League. Aidan attends Saratoga Springs High School and will be attending Canisius College in the fall of 2018. Aidan can be contacted through social media (Twitter is @ByAidanJoly) or by email, joly@upstatecourier.com

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