GLENS FALLS, N.Y. - For Brentwood, there was no rhythm but plenty of blues.
The Indians found it wasn't easy beating green, shooting only 31 percent and falling to Green Tech, 52-44, Saturday in a state Class AA semifinal.
"Nothing was going in for us and we forced some things," Brentwood guard Mike Almonacy said. He led the Indians (22-3) with 14 points but was as frigid as the waters of the Hudson River, which is still mostly frozen in this region of the state. Almonacy was 4-for-18 from the field and just 2-for-12 on three-pointers. "They were a scrappy team and they played good defense on us."
Neither team shot particularly well. Green Tech (17-5), a charter school from Albany whose uniforms are -- what else? -- dark green and whose coaching staff all wore green sweater vests, shot a pedestrian 39 percent from the field, 3 of 13 from downtown. That's why the Eagles, despite building several leads of nine points in the second half, could never quite put Brentwood away. When Almonacy finally sank his second trey with 54 seconds left, Brentwood had clawed back to within 50-44.
The Indians' flickering hopes soon faded however, when Almonacy turned the ball over after Green Tech missed two free throws. The Eagles will face Jamestown in the state Class AA championship game this afternoon. Najee Ward led Green Tech with 15 points and Isiah Dobhere added 12. Brentwood held a 40-27 rebounding edge, but that was more a product of having more carom opportunities on missed shots than a case of inside domination.
"They were quick. They were physical," Brentwood coach Anthony Jimenez said of Green Tech. "They attacked the basketball and spread us out. We didn't get into any kind of rhythm."
Jamel Allen provided some high notes for Brentwood. The high-flying sophomore blocked four shots, grabbed 17 rebounds and scored 13 points. "We were in striking distance," Jimenez said. "We were almost ready to make a run a couple of times, but it never materialized. We weren't as sharp as we could have been."
Brentwood only trailed 30-27 after Allen scored off an offensive rebound early in the third quarter. But Green Tech scored the next six points and the Indians never did recover. "We wanted to have that run and it was frustrating when we couldn't," Jimenez said.
Saturday's loss not only ended Brentwood's Long Island championship season but was also the last game for its only senior starter, 6-8 Femi Olujobi, who will play for Division I Oakland (Michigan) University. "I'll have to use this game as motivation so I'll dominate next year," said Olujobi, who scored nine points and grabbed seven rebounds. He said he isn't fully recovered yet from a broken left tibia suffered last summer, but is happy he returned in midseason despite being somewhat limited.
"These guys are like my little brothers," Olujobi said. "We all grew up together. We connect like a family. We're always on the same page. That's why we're here. The trip was fun. The bus ride was hilarious. We hoped for bigger smiles and to bring back a trophy, but life goes on."