AMSTERDAM, N.Y. – The Saratoga Springs girls basketball team is willing to take on any squad, any time, any place and proved it over the weekend, handing Amherst an 85-67 loss on Friday afternoon and then running past Brooklyn Law and Tech, 77-56 Saturday night at the annual Amsterdam College Showcase Tournament.
“These two games, we really want them to be very competitive,” Saratoga Springs Coach Robin Chudy said. “We wanted to come in and make sure that we played really difficult teams, teams who are challenging and each of the two teams had different scenarios.
“Brooklyn Law had some really good inside players, Amherst had a nice girl could shoot outside and take it and do everything. So it really did give us a very good run. We had to change things on the fly.”
In the tournament opener, the Blue Streaks unleashed senior Dolly Cairns who dropped 43 points, a steady stream of jumpers, drives and threes in all four sessions.
“There's not a selfish player on my team, this year has been awesome,” Chudy said. “Everyone knows the game so they want to make the right pass, the right move. When do I take it? When do I not? When do I dish? And then we always have that in the back of our mind, we're always looking and we’ve got Dolly and we're going to utilize her to her max.
“When we need her to score she scores and she does everything for us,” Chudy said. “She'll distribute the ball, she'll go grab rebounds, she'll tell someone, ‘Hey, this is open, that's open,’ she's a leader out there.”
On Saturday, Saratoga was challenged in the lane and once again, the Blue Streak bigs of Tosh Chudy and Lauren Patnode delivered off the boards in into the bucket when needed.
“Tasha and Lauren's inside and out, high, low play is tremendous,” Chudy said. “The two of them have been playing together forever, so to watch those two play together, one feeds off the other is incredible.
“I love the way they play together. Neither of them are selfish; one always looks for the other so it's really neat to see those two stepping up and doing a really good job for us.”
Patnode went for 12 points in the Amherst win with Chudy dropping in 15. On Saturday night, Patnode led the way with her 21-point night and Chudy adding 17 to Cairns’ 28.
“I think we came into the game like thinking that it was going to be they're going to be physical and I was going to be tough,” Lauren Patnode said. “I think our mentality was what pushed us through and what got us the win.”
Her counterpart, Chudy agreed.
“Our energy was up at the beginning so we just came out and we knew what we had to do and we did it,” Tosh Chudy said. “I mean we played all be played awesome in the first half and it's just our, our team and everyone on the bench just supported it.”
The weekend was not only about wins for the Blue Streaks, but it was about an education during the holiday break.
“Some things that we needed to work on is our defense always being more competitive and boxing out and not giving second, third, fourth shots,” Chudy said. “Today I thought we did a really good job on our patience on offense, which is running. If we have a fast break, take it, if you don't pull it out and take three, four five passes looking for that open shot.”
As the world ushers in a new year, so do the Blue Streaks and the start of another part of their campaign, the nightly Suburban Council grind where each game counts in the standings and the post-season seeding and path to a potential Class AA title.
“We left last year with a bitter taste in our mouth at the end of the sectionals, losing by eight,” Chudy said. “That's what we're striving for, to get back there and win it and that's what we're focused on.
“The girls come to practice every day working hard; they know they need to work on their defense always because we're going to have competitive teams with very good players.”