POTSDAM The Hammond girls and the Madrid-Waddington boys took divergent routes to the same destination, a berth in Saturdays Class D regional finals, in Tuesday nights twin bill of New York State Tournament basketball action at SUNY Potsdam.
More precisely, make that regional finals berths opposite top-ranked and undefeated Section 2 champions.
Hammond (21-2) controlled Elizabethtown-Lewis from the opening tip and secured a 47-31 victory and a meeting with Fort Edward at Adirondack County Community College at noon on Saturday.
You wouldnt believe how hard we worked since last Tuesday to get ready to get back to the regional finals, Hammond coach Shawn Dack said after his Red Devils buried nine 3-pointers. We expected them to play man-to-man but they came out in zone. But it didnt matter because we were ready for anything.
Our seniors gave us great leadership. We talked to Gabby Marshall about playing like a senior and she was ready to hit those 3-point shots.
Meanwhile, Madrid-Waddington (17-7) erased an 11-point deficit in the second half and used three outstanding defensive plays in the final 30 seconds of an electrified fourth quarter to claim a 49-46 win over Section 7 champion Moriah (11-11). The Jackets earned a 4 p.m. game with Argyle at Hudson Falls High School and a rematch of last years regional, which vaulted M-W into the New York State final four.
Moriah shot the ball well, their big guy clogged up the middle and they penetrated our man-to-man defense very well in the first half. We went to a zone in the second half and that worked better, M-W coach Aaron Jones said. I just cant say enough about our guys.
Hammonds preparedness was illustrated on the opening tip that Alyssa Crosby directed to Courtney Bova, who took the ball to the basket for a tough fastbreak conversion.
Crosby, who spent much of the Section 10 Tournament playing in the post, shifted to the perimeter and buried a pair of 3-pointers and scored 11 points leading the Devils to 18-7 first-quarter lead.
She netted a three in the second quarter en route to score a game-high 16 points. She also grabbed 10 rebounds and had four assists.
Marshall netted a 3-pointer in each quarter scoring 12 points. Bova knocked two threes in the third and finished 10 points. Emily Bush provided nine interior points through the first three quarters, when the Devils opened a 43-23 lead.
Lily Whalen buried three 3-pointers leading the Lions (19-2) with 15 points.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Moriah had methodically built a 27-16 lead by controlling the tempo and the boards through the combination of smooth freshman center Dan Jaquish (12 points, 9 rebounds), shot-making forward Derek Brassard (16 points) and point guard Jessup Calkins, who contained the penetration of M-W guard Colin OBryan.
But the Yellow Jackets revived their cause with a swarming defense that forced a quick flurry of turnovers. Richard Wright scored off a steal and OBryan invigorated the halfcourt offense with an acrobatic drive down the lane and a pull-up jumper to cut the difference to 27-23.
Jacob Barney opened the fourth quarter with a three to tie it at 30-30. Eight lead changes and three ties later, the Vikings had a 46-45 lead on a jumper by Brassard and control of the ball with about a half-minute left.
But the M-W defense denied the Vikings a good look and, with the shot clock running down, Greg Thompson intercepted a pass to the wing and raced downcourt to a layup for a 47-46 lead with 29.4 seconds to play.
The Vikings bid to answer was snuffed as Maurice Rease intercepted an interior pass and netted two free throws for a 49-46 lead.
A final desperation possession for Moriah produced two 3-point attempts and OBryan blocked the second from behind at the buzzer.
CLASS C GIRLS
HOOSIC VALLEY 44, CANTON 25
Cassidy Chapko scored 22 points, pulled down 10 rebounds, had seven steals and handed out four assists as Section 2 champion Hoosic Valley whipped Section 10 winner Canton in a state Class C first-round game at Adirondack Community College.
The defending state Class C champion Indians (20-3) will travel to SUNY Plattsburgh on Saturday to take on Section 7s AuSable Valley in the state quarterfinals. Emma Rexford led Canton (19-3) with 15 points.
Hoosic Valley advances to take on Section 7 champion AuSable Valley in the Class C quarterfinal round on Saturday at SUNY Plattsburgh.