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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, January 29, 2009

Lady Dutch basketball loses a step to Colonie

By Jordan J. Michael

GUILDERLAND –– Jen Madsen is an important part of Guilderland girls’ basketball. The team falls apart when she’s not on the floor.

The Lady Dutch had a 30-to-26 halftime lead at home against Colonie on Friday night. Madsen left the game early in the third quarter with a minor injury, leaving the team vulnerable. Colonie started racking up points and Guilderland lost, 58-45.

“I don’t want to make excuses, but losing Madsen in the third was a big reason why we lost the game,” said Head Coach Frank Cacckello. “My team got rattled when she left and everything went sour. Colonie picked up the pressure and changed the defense.”

Guilderland scored a mere three points in the third quarter, compared to Colonie’s 15. The Lady Dutch couldn’t buy a bucket and the ball was routinely turned over.

“It was very frustrating to watch,” Cacckello said. “Madsen eventually came back in, but we couldn’t recover for some reason.”

Guilderland’s Kat Keegan scored the game’s first points with a three-pointer. Soon after, Madsen hit a streaking Erin Kelly for a lay-up off a Colonie turnover. The Lady Dutch had an early 9-to-2 advantage.

Keegan put in another three to increase the lead to 14 to 5. Colonie would close the gap with a trey from Shayla Madden and a coast-to-coast finish from Tehresa Coles. Guilderland led, 14 to 12, at the end of the first quarter.

The Red Raiders went ahead, 17-14, after Madden drained another three. Keegan would answer with a left-handed move that found the net and a foul. She sank the free throw to tie the game at 17.

“Keegan has been stepping up her game lately,” said Cacckello. “She slows her game down and waits for screen to free her up. She had some great looks when we tried to come back at the end.”

The Lady Dutch took the lead back with a Madsen three-pointer and a few minutes later she banked in another three. In the final seconds of the half, Keegan put a three of her own through the net. Guilderland had a 30-to-26 front at halftime.

Cacckello told The Enterprise  that he was comfortable with the first-half play from his team, citing the defense. “Keegan and Madsen got some good looks; I was expecting that to continue,” he said.

The third quarter was a nightmare for the Lady Dutch. Madsen went to the bench, grabbing her right thigh. Guilderland was careless with the ball and Colonie started hitting shots.

Coles threw in a hook shot at the buzzer to top things off for the Red Raiders. Colonie took a 41-to-33 lead into the fourth quarter. The Lady Dutch did not look pleased.

“We’ve been in situations like that before where we lose players,” said Cacckello. “I think we need more maturity on the offensive end.”

The messy ball handling would continue for Guilderland in the final session. Kari Kipper put in three of her 14 points and Colonie opened up a 19-point lead at 52 to 33.

The Lady Dutch tried a comeback, but only got within nine points after a few threes from Keegan. She finished with five treys to end with 18 points for the game. Madsen added 10 points for Guilderland. Coles had 18 to lead the Red Raiders.

The Lady Dutch suffered a 58-to-45 loss on its home hardwood. The team has a 7-7 record on the season and is sitting in the middle of the Suburban Council standings. Its next game is Friday at Burnt-Hills.

“You have to expect the worst in sports,” Cacckello said. “Strange things happen and you learn from it. The whole flow of this game changed. That’s what happened tonight.”

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