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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, January 6, 2011

Dutch showed true grit
Shen’s fine-tuned team couldn’t be stopped

By Jordan J. Michael

GUILDERLAND –– Shenendehowa came into Guilderland as an undefeated team in the Suburban Council on Tuesday night, and left the same.

The Dutchmen (2-4, 3-5) showed true grit, but shooting 38 percent from the field and creating 20 turnovers won’t garner a victory in most basketball games. Guilderland lost, 58 to 45.

When momentum seemed to be its favor, the Dutch would commit mistakes, swinging the pendulum back to the Plainsmen (6-0, 6-1). More than a few times, Guilderland threw the ball out of bounds, giving Shenendehowa free scoring opportunities.

“Half of our turnovers were unforced,” said Head Coach Ron Osinski after the game. “Every turnover has, possibly, a two-point swing, so we probably gave them 40 free points tonight.”

As for the poor shooting percentage, Osinski said that his team “usually misses some shots” because most of its scoring comes from outside the paint. Also, the meager passing didn’t help Guilderland’s chances for a huge win over a talented Shenendehowa team.

“We worked on a lot of passing drills over the break,” Osinski said. “The struggles tonight could have came from our lack of games lately, or just that we make bad passes. I don’t know.”

After a shaky first half, the Dutch came out strong and cut the Plainsmen’s lead to eight points, 30 to 22, after Alex Gaines and Cameron Dobbs each made a lay-up. Shenendehowa’s Jose Reyes and Jackson Shea, who scored 15 and 16 points respectively, each had a steal to bring the lead back to 13 points.

“They kept coming back with points whenever we got closer,” said Dobbs, a junior who led Guilderland with 13 points. Dobbs has been scoring in bunches for the team, but Tuesday seemed like an off night. “Our defense is good, but we don’t score enough,” he said.

Osinski told The Enterprise that he liked his team’s rebounding and zone defense, which held Shen, which averages 70 points per game, to under 60 points. “Shen has some good veterans that run the show and have experience,” he said. “We held them under 60, but we’re working towards 50 points per game.”

The Plainsmen pushed the lead to 45 to 28, early in the fourth quarter, but the Dutchmen weren’t ready to go away completely. Guilderland went on a 9-to-0 run, capped off by Brendan Doak, who drained a three-pointer after stealing Shen’s inbound pass.

The Red Sea, as Guilderland fans call themselves, erupted, with Doak showing his appreciation. The Plainsmen quickly called a time-out.

“We shouldn’t wait until the second half to get going,” Dobbs said. “We have to step it up and come out strong from the first tip, or we’ll keep losing like this.”

Again, the momentum was swinging Guilderland’s way, but Michael Doynow was called for a technical foul after aggressively ripping the ball away from Farshad Sarrafi-Nour after the whistle had blown the play dead. The Dutch’s energy was thwarted and the Plainsmen sealed the win.

Osinski didn’t want to blame Doynow for his actions during the confusing altercation that ended with the technical foul. Doynow hustled for the entire game and made some key baskets. 

“I think someone landed on his head or did something that he thought wasn’t right,” Osinski said. “We played with a lot of heart tonight, but the game swung at that point and it was too late to come back.”

Determination is what’s keeping Guilderland and its young players in games this season. The team just has to execute.

“Our speed and hustle allows us to be competitive,” said Dobbs. “We’ll build on it.”

“Hopefully, we can carry good things on for the rest of the season,” said Osinski. “Every game comes with some mistakes. We’ll learn by failing.”

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