Friday, February 2, 2018

High School Fridays: Columbia @ Troy (boys basketball), 2/2/18

Flashback: December 4, 2015: Troy High, in its first season in the Suburban Council, had lost its first league game to Colonie, then came home to thrash Columbia, 76-37, spoiling the homecoming of Blue Devils coach and former Troy player Curtis Sankey. 

Twenty-six months later, the scenario is the same. Troy is hosting Columbia after a heartbreaking loss to Colonie three nights earlier. Would lightning strike twice in the same place?

It all depends on how you look at it.

Going into tonight's game, the Blue Devils were a much improved club, even if they were still below .500. Given how the Albany Times-Union's website has the records in both men's & women's basketball all screwed up, let's just say that Columbia is closer to .500 than they were at this time last year, and leave it at that.

Indeed, just a couple of minutes in, Columbia junior Alex Adams started the scoring with a 3-pointer, as Columbia ran out to a 7-2 lead. However, Troy then went on a 10-0 run, and would lead, 18-17, after 1, and 44-40 at halftime. Adams had 15 points by halftime. Troy's Nazaire Merritt had 12 at the break to lead the Flying Horses.

In the third quarter, Troy's defense shut down Adams, while Merritt and Alonzo Alexander heated up. Adams would spark back up and score 10 points in the fourth quarter, and led the Blue Devils with 25 points. Cooper Zwanka added 15. Merritt finished with a season high 28 points. Alexander had 19, and Troy beat the Blue Devils for the third time in as many tries, 76-67.

If it's any consolation for Columbia supporters, their JV's defeated Troy, 56-50.

Coach Greg Davis' club will be on the road tomorrow at Middletown before returning home to play Albany on Tuesday night. With 4 overall games left, Troy stands at 10-6 (10-4 in league play).
Meanwhile, the Troy women finally defeated Columbia, 56-39, as Juliana Valenti led Troy with 15 points, and Jenalyse Alarcon added 12 for the winners. Troy now sits at 4-9 in the league, 5-13 overall, with two games left.

On the ice, LaSalle completed a season sweep of Saratoga, 2-1, and this time, they didn't need overtime. The firm of Ryan (Murray) & (Tom) Ryan did all the scoring for the Cadets, who now are three points behind idle Bethlehem in the standings. The front-running Eagles are at Mohawk Valley tomorrow, while LaSalle has a week of practice before visiting Burnt Hills-Ballston Spa next Friday.

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