POTSDAM — The Heuvelton Girls didn’t want to see their school’s men’s basketball team participate in Section 10 Championship Night alone.
So Class D champion Lady Bulldogs (20-4) followed the comeback trail laid by the boys on Tuesday night to a dramatic 32-31 win over Class A champion Massena in Game 2 of the semi-finals of the Section 10 at SUNY Potsdam. Wednesday.
The Bulldogs outscored Massena 16-7, doubling their production in three quarters, in the fourth quarter and took their only lead of the game with 38 seconds left on a Raya McGaw three-point shot.
The Bulldogs will face Class B champion Gouverneur (18-5), who controlled Class C champion Madrid-Waddington 45-22 on Wednesday, at 6 p.m. Friday night at SUNY Potsdam. In the 7:45 p.m. boys championship match, Heuvelton will face Class B champion Canton.
The Heuvelton Girls are looking to continue the overall titles won in 2016 and 17 that served as preludes to the state championships and Gouverneur is looking for his first overall crown since 1989.
On the boys’ side, Heuvelton are looking to win their overall title while Canton are looking to reclaim the title they won in 2017 and 2018.
“I just couldn’t let Coach McAllister (HCS Boys basketball coach Josh McAllister) have any fun with Heuvelton comebacks,” Heuvelton coach Rob Powers said with a laugh at the middle of his players celebrating moments after the contest ended with a 3-point attempt from Massena. leaping from the edge.
“It was such a tough game. Massena has improved so much since we played them in the regular season. Their man-to-man defense was outstanding and they were flying all over the court. Coach Justin Shope is doing a great work.
The Raiders (18-4) limited the Bulldogs to six points in the first half and 16 points in three quarters, led by Hawking ball guard Faith Halladay and rim protection by center Tori Jacobs who blocked five shots.
Big problems from center Bella Doyle, the NAC West Division MVP, also complicated the goalscoring efforts for the Bulldogs who remained in contention at 24-16 early in the fourth quarter thanks to their teeming defense.
Doyle came back into the game with 4:19 remaining and quickly made it a game with possession at 25-22, but the Raiders, who opened up a nine-point lead in the third quarter, quickly increased the margin to 29. -24 with a jumper. and two free throws from Chyler Richards.
Doyle and Katie Cunningham both converted hard shots in the lane to cut the lead to 29-28 and Jacobs and Halladay both hit free kicks to increase the Raiders’ lead to 31-29.
It proved to be their last lead as second-year reserve center forward Raya McGaw swept a three-pointer from the left flank for a 32-31 lead with 38 seconds left.
“We were looking to run a pick and roll, but Raya came out wide open. She takes those shots all the time in practice and we tell her to take them if she’s open,” Coach Powers said.
“The shot was just perfect”
McGaw and fellow second-year reserve Ashley Weston were called out for long minutes by Coach Powers to deal with the size of the Raider duo of Jacobs and Richards.
“Ashley Weston is finally back in full swing and tonight she played the most minutes in a game all season,” Powers said.
Doyle and McGaw (7 points) combined six and five points in the fourth quarter, triggering the arrival of Heuvelton.
Ali Trathen had six points in the second half, including a nice reverse layout along the baseline and pulled his team from the Raiders’ biggest lead at 23-14 with 1:49 left in the game. third quarter.
Cunningham also scored six points and Lily Spooner added one in a few important minutes off the bench.
Jacobs scored 10 of his 14 second-half points for the Raiders and Halladay, who excelled at grabbing the ball at the post, scored six with Richards going 4-4 down the foul line. Meghan Firnstein and Chase Gladding added three and two points.
“We don’t really have a lot of long-range goals, but we’re tough inside and our girls are playing great defense all over the pitch the whole game,” Massena coach Justin Shope said. who shared the NAC Central Division Coach of the Year award. with Governor’s Sean Devlin after leading the Raiders to a share of the Central Division title at 12-2 with the Wildcats.
Coach Sean Devlin’s Governor Wildcats couldn’t have asked for a better night.
After passing MW to pay the senior guard for the Section 10 Overall Championship, Raelin Burns received the Section’s top individual award by being named the 2022 Jan Reetz Award recipient by the NNY Girls Basketball Officials Board. She was also honored as the NAC Central Division Most Valuable Player.
“I’m very happy with our effort tonight. We played very aggressively defensively against a very good attacking team at Madrid-Waddington. Offensively we passed the ball very effectively which led to some open shots down the stretch,” said coach Devlin.
“It was a great win for us. Coach Harmer has always coached teams that play hard. This team is no exception to that and we wish them luck in the state playoffs. We look forward to playing for the overall championship. It’s been since 1989, so we’re thrilled with the opportunity. We’re grateful for all the support we’ve had from our community this season. It’s been great.
“We had girls who received great awards tonight at the ceremony, and well deserving. It’s good to see our girls getting some recognition,” added coach Devlin.
Acknowledging responsibility for shutouts and double downs in their zone defense, the Wildcats limited MW to six points in the first half where they opened up a 20-6 lead with a 12-2 run in the second quarter.
When MW was not called to score 10 points in the third quarter, the Wildcats replied with 15 points with two 3-pointers by Burns and two inside conversions by Lexi Devlin.
Burns buried three 3s on a 13-point night and Devlin scored eight points in a balanced game-winning offense that also included seven points from pace guard Chloe Smith and Lia Canell, six points from two 3s by Torie Salisbury and four from Elizabeth Riutta.
NAC East Division MVP Grace Plumley had 11 of her 13 points in the third period, looking to spark a Yellow Jacket rally. Hailey Marcellus had eight points and Natalia Pearson one.
Coach MW Bryan Harmer looked to his team to earn dividends from the game as he heads into state tournament action at SUNY Canton against the Division 7 Class C champion next week.
“Gouverneur is an exceptional team. They are the real deal. Playing against their outstanding defense can only help us prepare for the state game,” Coach Harmer said.
“We showed tonight that we knew what to do against their zone, but we just didn’t do it fast enough. Governor really moves the ball quickly and without fumbles.