Bison’s size buries Shen

Tuesday, January 14, 2014
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Shenendehowa's Ashley Acker comes around for a lay up at the girls varsity basketball game against Shaker on Tuesday.
Shenendehowa's Ashley Acker comes around for a lay up at the girls varsity basketball game against Shaker on Tuesday.

— Both Shenendehowa and Shaker had closed in on the midpoint of the Suburban Council girls’ basketball schedule with little opposition.

But Shaker had too much exper­ience and size when the unbeatens met Tuesday night as the Blue

Bison rolled to an easy 61-33 home win.

“We haven’t played a lot of great opponents,” said Shaker coach Emily Caschera-Blowers, speaking of both her team and the Lady Plainsmen. “We’ve both been blowing teams out.

“This is a big part of proving how good we are. We’re an older, ex­perienced team with a lot of sectional credibility. That was part of our job tonight, to prove to everybody where we belong.”

After Shenendehowa — which started a ninth-grader and two sophomores — used a press to hang with the Blue Bison in the opening moments, Shaker took control of the game with a 10-3 run at the end of the first quarter, as Jenni Barra and Lyric Artis — two of Shaker’s four senior starters — took turns knocking down shots from long range.

“We were on fire at the beginning, making a high percentage of our shots. It took the wind out of their sails a little bit,” said Caschera-Blowers. “They got back into it with their press. We kept turning the ball over, and we had to make some adjustments.

“Our girls adapted. We had a lot of people step up.”

The 18-10 lead after eight minutes could have been larger, but Barra’s half-court buzzer-beater was waved off when it was determined that the ball grazed the cable supporting the backboard on its way down to the netting.

Barra had six of her game-high 17 points in the first quarter, and she, Artis and Merrick Rowland made Shen come out of its man-to-man defense, enabling 6-foot-2 Sage VanAmerongen and 6-1 Becky Rossier to dominate the backboards on the backside of a 2-3 zone.

“We have great big kids,” said Caschera-Blowers, who could have been referring to both their size and ability. “They did a great job of staying on their feet, getting rebounds, getting position.

“Our bigs don’t get enough credit in this league. It’s hard to box out in a zone, but our kids did a good job on the boards.”

“This was definitely a huge game for us,” said Barra. “We came into this game, and we knew we had something to prove. We had a lot of players step up. I thought it was great all-around effort.”

The eight-point lead after one period doubled by halftime as the young Plainsmen were hesitant going inside, and saw some of their perimeter shots knocked away, as well.

Shaker (8-0, 9-0) moved one game ahead of Shenendehowa atop the Suburban Council North Div­ision. Up next for both is a game against one of the top two SC South teams, as Shaker goes to defending league champ Bethlehem, and Shen plays at unbeaten Averill Park.

“I think we showed we’re a force to be reckoned with,” said Barra.

“I don’t think we’ve gotten the recognition we deserve, and we used that as motivation,” said Caschera-Blowers. “Every game, we’re proving we shouldn’t be ranked 30th in the state. We’re better than that.”


Boland 5-3-14, Brown 1-0-2, Acker 3-0-8, Sangare 3-0-6, Lee 0-1-1, Quinn 0-2-2. Totals: 12-6-33.


Barra 7-2-17, Artis 4-0-9, Rossier 2-0-4, Rowland 3-0-8, VanAmerongen, Huba 1-0-2, Mayo 2-0-4, Smith 3-0-7. Totals: 25-7-61.

Shenendehowa 10 7 12 4 — 33

Shaker 18 15 15 12 — 61

Three-point goals: Boland, Acker 2, Barra, Artis, Rowland 2.

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