It's been nearly 2 years since I'd last attended a Troy High girls' basketball game. That occasion was the Class A title game in 2015 at Hudson Valley Community College, an overtime loss to Averill Park. Tonight, with Shenendehowa's women's team making their first regular season trip to Troy, the time was right to find out for myself just what is wrong with the Lady Horses.
Unfortunately, I mistakenly assumed the game would start at 7 pm. Nope, it was an hour earlier, at 6. Sometimes, the schedule can be so confusing. One source will say 6, another says 7, so flip a coin, if ya will.
Digression over. I arrived about halfway through the 2nd quarter, with Shen already up by about 10 points. The Lady Plainsmen led by 12, 31-19, at the break. Troy, playing their 3rd game in 4 days (more on that later), and 5th in 8, looked tired on defense, and couldn't slow down Shen's fast break, repeatedly beaten for easy baskets. Save for some key blocks in the 2nd half, this could've been a blowout. The Lady Horses couldn't break Shen's 2-3 zone defense with any consistency, and rushed a lot of shots, leading to easy rebounds for the visitors. Cameron Tooley & Alexandra Tudor led Shen with 16 points each. Sabrina Wolfe led Troy with 10. Alaina Holmes, a freshman, had 9. Juliana Valenti, a sophomore, had 8, including a monster three pointer on the final play of the game. Senior Shalie Frierson finished with 7, as Troy dropped their third game in the last four, 58-41. Valenti's game-ending trey came from just shy of mid-court, giving the sparser than usual crowd something to talk about for the rest of the weekend.
After losing to Shaker on Tuesday, coach Paul Bearup's team was right back at it, their road trip extended to four games with a make-up game at Lansingburgh on Wednesday, a fact that was not reported to the local press for some unknown reason. The game was originally scheduled for December 10, but likewise was postponed without explanation. Troy won that game, 43-40, as someone other than Frierson & Wolfe led the scoring. That would be 8th grader Jenalyse Alarcon, who finished with a team high 14 points vs. Lansingburgh. Frierson was held to 3. Senior Domonique Fiddermon finished with 10 on Wednesday.
Next for Troy will be Suburban Council Grey division champion Albany on Senior Night, February 7. Troy has just 4 seniors (Frierson, Wolfe, Fiddermon, Madelyn Brown), but the foundation is there on offense for the next few years with Alarcon, Holmes, & Valenti. What did Troy in tonight was, well, fatigue. Five games in eight days will do that, including two non-league games. Troy has two games left, as they will close on the road next Friday at Schenectady.
Meanwhile, the boys' team, already without leading scorer Daniel Buie (ankle sprain), also went without Ryan Carmello as they made their first visit to Shenendehowa tonight. It wasn't pretty at all. Elijah Davis, who led Troy with 21 points in an overtime win over Shaker Tuesday, had just 11 tonight, while Jake Dzikas, son of Shen coach Tony Dzikas, led all scorers with 19, as the Plainsmen rolled, 74-36. Ouch, babe! Troy's 4 game winning streak is over, and with 3 games left, coach Rich Hurley is hoping to get Buie and Carmello back for Tuesday's road game at Albany, in addition to a potential first place showdown on Senior Night next Friday vs. Schenectady.