Good effort tough ending for Lady Dutch

GUILDERLAND — It was a disappointing end.

The constantly-improving Guilderland girls’ basketball team played one of its best games of the season and almost came away with what would have been the biggest win of the year last Thursday.

The Lady Dutch put together a great performance on Senior Night, but lost to Columbia, 56-54, in a thrilling overtime contest.
"We out-played them tonight," said Guilderland Coach Frank Cacckello. "We played with great effort and executed on the offensive end. There were numerous plays that we made mistakes. That one play stands out, but we certainly had opportunities to come out with a win tonight."

The play Cacckello referred to came at the end of regulation play.

The Lady Dutch were up by three points with less than 10 seconds left. Columbia had the final possession and Lucy Tremblay missed a three-point shot. She got the loose ball off the missed shot and attempted to take another shot but was fouled and awarded three free throws.

Tremblay knocked down all three foul shots to send the game into overtime, tied at 46.

The game was back-and-forth in the extra frame, but Columbia got another big shot as time was running out.

Lauren Hanman hit a jump shot with about one second left in the game to give the Blue Devils the win.

Proud coach says players have progressed
"I was proud of the effort of the seniors," Cacckello said. "Every one of them got in, in the first half. They did a great job."

Cacckello plays a younger line-up with just one senior in the starting line-up and playing the clutch minutes at the end of the game.
"Danielle Burns is great," Cacckello said of the senior. "Everyone just follows her. It’s contagious. That’s what we call her, because her play is contagious."

In the overtime, Tiana Lott hit a three-pointer for Columbia, giving the Blue Devils the advantage. Melissa Winne scored inside to answer for Guilderland. A foul shot by Columbia was equaled by Guilderland’s Alicia Bowman to make the score 50-49 in favor of Columbia.

Gabi Regan scored inside for the Blue Devils but Burns made two foul shots for Guilderland to keep the Columbia advantage to one point.

Regan made two foul shots to give Columbia a three-point lead with 27 seconds left in the game.

Cacckello then subbed in senior Jess Bender and she promptly knocked down a three-point shot to tie the game, 54-54, with 14 seconds left.

Hanman then hit a jump shot from the right side as time ticked away to give Columbia the victory.
"We couldn’t get any stops right there at the end," Cacckello said on Thursday. "They got some points, and we missed free throws."

Tremblay led Columbia with 19 points. Regan added 14 points and Lott chipped in with 12 for the Blue Devils.

Junior guard Jen Madsen led the Lady Dutch with 13 points. Burns scored 12 points — 10 on foul shots — and Bowman added nine for Guilderland.
"A big change this season has been the play of our post," Cacckello said of his inside players, especially Bowman. "The effort of our post players has been tremendous. We started off as a guard-oriented team, but now it makes teams actually have to defend us in all areas of the game. It’s been enjoyable to see them progress."

"A good shot"

The Dutch have been playing well of late. They played two good games in the Suburban Council Tournament before facing Columbia.

Guilderland beat Saratoga in the first-round of the second-tier — teams that didn’t finish in the top four — of the Suburban Council Tournament. It was Cacckello’s 100th win as a varsity basketball coach.

The Lady Dutch then lost to Averill Park, 38-36, in the second game of the tournament.
"In the second half, we’ve played great," Cacckello said of the season. "We played well against a good Averill Park team."

The Columbia game was the last home contest for seniors Burns, Bender, Casey Peebles, and Tice.

Their last game of the season could have been Wednesday. The Lady Dutch open up the Section II Class AA tournament with a trip to Albany High School to take on the host Falcons.

Guilderland is the seventh-seeded team from the Suburban Council half of the bracket and Albany is the second seed from the Big 10 side. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.
"We are looking at Albany High," Cacckello said. "I think we have a good shot at upsetting them if we play this way. We lost this one [Columbia] for a reason."

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