To paraphrase Billy Joel, it was a pretty good crowd for a Sunday afternoon.
Less than 48 hours after absorbing an 8 point loss to Shenendehowa, Troy High was back on their home court, welcoming Green Tech, which plays an independent schedule. Tip-off was a half hour late as the junior varsity game, won by Green Tech, 55-54, ran long.
It looked as though the Eagles would complete the sweep in the varsity game, running out to a quick 8-0 lead three minutes into the first quarter. They led by as many as 13 in the first half, and entered halftime with an 8 point lead at 29-21.
Then, it became the Daniel Buie show.
Held to 4 points in the first half, the sophomore exploded in the second half, scoring Troy's first 11 points in the third quarter. By the end of the frame, Troy had taken its first lead, and never gave it back. Buie finished with 32 points. Darius Holmes-Hines and Jack McLaren added 10 each, and fans started filing for the exits with about a minute and change left, knowing the game was over. Troy rebounded nicely from the loss on Friday with a 68-57 verdict. Dasier Lukes led Green Tech with 12 points before fouling out in the 4th quarter.
The Eagles have a team so talented, using what looks more like an NBA-style defense, that a second generation player like Derrick Rowland, Jr., son of an Albany Patroons great from the 80's, isn't a starter. Rowland played limited minutes and failed to score.
Worth noting, and I didn't bring this up on Friday. Troy's JV team dressed only eight players both on Friday and today, and because the JV teams don't get even minute coverage, unlike the old days, when a mere linescore would appear beneath a varsity box score, there doesn't seem to be any explanation. Despite the lack of depth, which one must assume is attributed to a combination of injuries and/or disciplinary issues, such as student suspensions, the Troy JV played hard right up to the final buzzer, just like their varsity brethren.
Now, Troy can focus on the three remaining Suburban Council games left, all against familiar foes, with the Grey division title on the line. 4th place Albany comes in Tuesday night. Then, it's the road finale at Schenectady on Friday, before CBA visits on Senior Night (February 9). All Troy needs to do is win at least two out of three. A win Tuesday eliminates Albany from the division title chase. The fact that the four teams, all in their first season in the Suburban, are in the top four spots in the division should tell you something about the quality of competition in the division this year.
Curiously, as fans were leaving, there was a greater police presence outside the school, including a K-9 vehicle. Apparently, there are concerns about drugs and/or gang violence. Don't ask why, because I have no clue. Just saying.