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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, March 4, 2010

Dutchmen’s seesaw season ends with sectional loss

By Jordan J. Michael

SCHENECTADY –– The defense took on a little too much weight for the Guilderland basketball team this season.

The Dutch went to Schenectady last Thursday for the first round of the Class AA sectionals and had a 28-to-24 lead at halftime. However, the wheels came off in the second half as the Patriots scored 20 unanswered points.

Guilderland Head Coach Ron Osinski told The Enterprise after the game that he tried to stop Schenectady’s run by calling timeouts. “We tried to shut it down, but nothing was working,” he said. “We went extremely cold and let them dictate everything.”

The Dutchmen refused to give up during the tail end of the fourth quarter and clawed back to within four points. Senior Andrew Brown coughed up the ball with under a minute to play and that iced the game for the Patriots, winning 57 to 49.

Brown said that he was trying to pass the ball to teammate Joe Terry when Schenectady’s Eddie Stanley was charging him, but Terry wasn’t expecting the pass. “It was a very bad time to have miscommunication,” he said. “I felt like it was my fault.”

Guilderland had a very strong defense this season, but Osinski said that the defense suffered from the lack of offense. The team reached 50 points in only six out of its 19 games.

“We didn’t have any room for error this season because of the low scoring numbers,” said Osinski, who has seen almost everything over 26 years of coaching basketball. “There was so much pressure on our defense and they did well. But the little mistakes cost us all year.”

Senior Anthony Gallo was clutch all season for the Dutch and he did everything in his power to try to get the team a win last Thursday. Gallo had a game-high 22 points, including five threes, four of which that came in the first half.

“He’s an excellent shooter with some real desire,” Osinski said of Gallo. “He was always the focus of our opponents’ defenses. He drew everyone’s best player.”

Hot to cold

Guilderland looked poised in the first quarter, jumping out to an 11-to-5 lead after Nate Sentz stole the ball and found Brown for two. Senior Ryan Ochs pushed the lead to seven when he curled around the defense, spotted up, and drained a jumper while being fouled.

At the start of the second quarter, the Dutch went up, 22 to 16, after Gallo hit a deep two, followed by a three-pointer. However, Guilderland started getting into foul trouble and the game was tied at 22 with two made free throws by Reece Jackson of the Patriots.

Schenectady grabbed the lead for a few moments, but Gallo bailed the Dutchmen out with two huge threes, including one at the buzzer to end the first half on a high note.

Gallo hit another three for Guilderland’s first points of the third quarter, but the scoring went on an indefinite hiatus after that, leaving the team dumbfounded and clearly frustrated.

“They stepped up on Gallo and Ochs and that’s where most of our scoring comes from,” said Brown. “We came out weak in the second half and that’s not the first time.”

Jackson gave the Patriots a lead at 32 to 31 and the team went into overdrive after that. Shariff Frasier made a three from the top of the key and Osinski called a timeout to try and stop the bleeding. Joshua Williams added insult to injury by driving the lane and making a fancy behind-the-head pass to Born Farmer for a lay-up.

Schenectady opened up a 46-to-31 lead before Josh Murray finally stopped the ridiculous run by making a basket for Guilderland with five-and-a-half minutes left in the fourth quarter.

“Every shot they made was a dagger,” said Osinski. “Their quickness and rebounding killed us. I knew it would.”

Most teams wouldn’t be able to recover from a scoring run like that, but the Dutch turned things around and found new energy for a thrilling comeback. A steal by Brown and a pass to Mike Drislane for a lay-up got the team back within nine points.

Ochs kept the Schenectady lead at nine when he drove the lane and got fouled; only to watch the ball bounce in, pumping his fist in excitement. The Guilderland full court press caused two turnovers and Ochs hit a three to minimize the Patriots’ lead to 52 to 48 with a minute left.

Even though the Dutch came up just short, the team showed serious fortitude and that’s why Osinski fully enjoyed coaching this year’s group of players.

“We went hard all year long and never let up,” Osinski said. “That comeback at the end showed everybody how bad my guys wanted to win.”

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