Guilderland girls' plan unravels

The Enterprise — Jordan J. Michael

Rebecca Golderman rises to shoot between Ballston Spa’s Katie McMahon, right, and Abbie Laime last Thursday during Guilderland’s 62-to-43 Class AA opening-round win in Guilderland. Golderman scored 16 points, and the Dutch played Shenendehowa on Monday, losing by 35 points in the quarterfinals.

CLIFTON PARK — The Guilderland girls’ basketball team had planned on attacking Shenendehowa’s 1-2-2 press defense on Monday night, but it proved to be too wicked as the Dutch surrendered too many turnovers and executed poorly.

The 60-to-25 Class AA quarterfinal loss made for a rough ending to Guilderland’s season; the team seemed to be clicking after an efficient win against Ballston Spa in the opening round.

However, top-seeded Shenendehowa is state-ranked with a 19-1 record.

Tall, athletic, and aggressive in the passing lanes, Shen forced Guilderland to possess the basketball at half court, in the backcourt, and at the corners. Whenever two Shen players doubled the ball, one Guilderland player was open, but extremely hard to find.

“You’re going to get a lot of steals against a team like us that doesn’t use a lot of pass fakes, or that doesn’t attack the traps; you have to attack the press,” Dutch Head Coach Maceo Dubose said after Monday’s 35-point loss. “You have to make the next thing happen instead of waiting for the next thing to happen.”

Never trailing in the game, Shenendehowa got into a groove during the second quarter. Carly Boland scored as many points (25) as Guilderland’s entire team.

“They shoot a lot of shots and make them,” said Dutch senior Caitlin Corbett. “We had to get out on them and we didn’t do that.”

Guilderland may have had more turnovers than points; Shen’s defense was boarderline harassment. Dubose told The Enterprise that his team even played six versus five in practice to get ready for Monday’s quarterfinal.

“It’s a big task to beat Shen,” said Dubose; the Dutch had a 17-point loss to Shen on Jan. 20. “You have to have everything right. They didn’t do anything that we didn’t expect. It was more of us not doing what we were supposed to do, and them forcing us to do what they wanted.”

“They’re really good at trapping,” Guilderland senior Zibby Eckhardt said of Shenendehowa. “We had difficulty with that.”

Dubose knew that Shen was going to double the ball with defensive traps to the sidelines. “If you’re my next outlet [pass] and you’re way over on the other side, and I can’t see you, it creates a problem,” he said. “It’s about getting into your spots, and we weren’t in our spots a lot of the time.”

Passive: The Guilderland girls’ basketball team lost to Shen, 60 to 25, in the Class AA quarterfinals on Monday. Here, Guilderland’s Liliya Warner, left, looks past the defense, which was tough all night long. The Enterprise — Michael Koff


After beating Ballston Spa, 62 to 43, last Thursday, Dubose said he believed that Guilderland would have a chance against Shenendehowa on Monday if the Dutch executed well and played to its capabilities. But that did not happen.

Eckhardt and senior Rebecca Golderman said last Thursday that Guilderland had to be mentally prepared for Shen. “Anything can happen,” said Eckhardt. “We can’t turn the ball over; that’s our biggest thing. Sometimes, we’ll see a pass, and stare at the person and pass it, and then get the ball stolen.”

“If you’re not mentally prepared, you’re not going to win,” Dubose said. “I got this from Bobby Knight: Mental is to physical as four is to one — mental is four times as important as physical.”

Whether the Guilderland players’ heads were in the right place on Monday or not, Shenendehowa was too good to be beaten. In the third quarter, some Dutch players started to look at the ground.

“Nothing was tricky,” Dubose said. “We didn’t rebound or take care of the basketball. We just didn’t do well.”

Guilderland had been working on its patience all season, and the team didn’t take its time on Monday, “even though we said we would take our time,” Corbett said. “I think we forget to work as a team sometimes.”

No matter the opponent or the score, Dubose said, the Dutch (8-13) always worked hard. That was most evident in the third quarter on Monday when Golderman dove for the ball, crashed into a plastic barrier, and then got up immediately to get back on defense.

With a little reluctance in her voice, Eckhardt said that Guilderland was “strong” this season.

Spotting up a three-pointer on Monday is Guilderland’s Zibby Eckhardt during the quarterfinal game against Shenendehowa. Eckhardt scored nine points after scoring 19 against Ballston Spa last Thursday. The Dutch lost badly to Shen, and finished 8-13 on the season. The Enterprise — Michael Koff    


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