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SLC girls net breakthrough Section 10 hoops title win

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CANTON - The Section 10 championship drought is over for the St. Lawrence Central girls basketball team.

“We came here ready to play and excited to play for a championship. We were ready to make history,” said senior forward Lindsey Thayer after helping to lead the top-seeded Lady Larries to their first ever sectional title with a 41-30 decision over Brushton-Moira in the 2014 Class C final at the SUNY Canton Fieldhouse.

With the win, the Lady Larries improved to 13-7 overall and earned their first trip to the upcoming Section 10 Overall and New York State Class C tournaments. They will be heading to SUNY Potsdam’s Jerry Welsh Gymnasium on Tuesday to take on top-seeded Class A champion Franklin Academy in the second overall semi-final starting at 7:15 p.m. Class B champion Canton Central and Class D champion Heuvelton are slated to square off in the other Tuesday evening semi starting at 5 p.m.

The overall championship game is slated for Saturday, March 1, at noon at Jerry Welsh Gym.

The Lady Larries are then scheduled to make their state tournament debut on Tuesday, March 4, at SUNY Potsdam against the Section 7 champion.

“This feel really good,” said coach Chad Gauthier, who has now guided the Lady Larries to the Class C final in each of his first two years at the helm. “After getting to this game last year, we were happy to get here again and the girls were ready to play. They had a good year but they had their hearts set on winning this one today,” he added. “This is just a great night for St. Lawrence girls basketball.”

Thayer finished with a game-high 12 points along with nine rebounds, five assists, four steals and three blocks as the Lady Larries answered the opening basket by BMC sophomore Kirstin Barrett with 11 straight points en route to building a 13-5 lead by the end of the first quarter.

All five starters for SLC made lead all-around contributions as junior Chelsea Savage (9 rebounds) and freshman Bailee Gauthier (5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals) netted eight points apiece followed by senior Jenna Kesner (2 assists, 2 steals) with seven while freshman Breanna Evans accounted for the other six points.

“All our girls stepped up today but Lindsey is our leader,” noted coach Gauthier. “She always puts the team first. She’s every coach’s dream.”

Points were just as hard to come by in the second quarter where SLC pushed its lead to 18-5 with five unaswered points over the first 6:47. The teams then traded baskets over the final minute and the Lady Larries went into halftime leading 22-10.

After taking their biggest lead of the game when Thayer opened the fourth quarter with a field goal, the Lady Larries weathered the first of two second-half runs by the Lady Panthers. The first was led by sophomore Kirstin Barrett, who tallied eight of her 10 points in the third quarter in helping to cut the deficit to 28-20 heading into the final frame where a three-pointer by Arielle Gary with 4:45 left made it a two possession game at 31-25.

The Lady Larries answered by generating the next eight points of the game and never looked back in claiming their breakthrough sectional title.

Barrett (13 rebounds, 5 steals) and Gary anchored the BMC effort with 10 points each. Meghan Martin and Micaela McCarthy chipped in four points apiece while Jenna Dufrane closed out the Lady Panther scoring with a field goal.

“Defensively, we played well but we just couldn’t get anything going on offense. We just had too many turnovers,” said BMC coach Amie Chase after her seniorless squad closed out the season with an 11-7 record.

“We should have everyone back next year and hopefully we can learn from tonight,” she added.

CLASS B FINAL

In the final game of the girls championship triple-header at SUNY Canton on Friday, Canton Central, which won the Class C and overall titles last winter, claimed the Class B title with a convincing 59-38 decision over OFA.

Kalie Frank fired through four three-pointers as the Lady Golden Bears (16-4) worked their way to a 16-10 lead by the end of the first quarter then took control of the game with a 17-5 second-quarter surge. Tori Daley chipped in 13 points followed by Emily Pinckney with 12 and Rachel Sanderson with 10. Rachael Huntley, Natalie DiSalvo and Katie Clemmer closed out the Canton scoresheet with two points each.

Susie Morrow paced OFA 913-7) with 10 points followed by Meg Dodge with nine, Courtney Sherwin with eight, Riley Luckie with six and Taylor Perry with five.

CLASS D FINAL

In the closest game of the night, top-seeded Heuvelton outlasted Hermon-DeKalb 53-48 in overtime to capture the Class D title.

The Bulldogs used a 14-5 third quarter advantage finishing on a 6-0 for a 37-35 lead. After Heuvelton led 43-39 with just under three minutes on a key basket from Kylie Piercey the Demons chipped away cut the defict to 43-42 with three straight free throws from Hunter Hitchman 2:25 left, Piercey hit a back end of a two foul shot situation with :42 left for a 44-42 lead. Courtney Harrington later sent the game into overtime with two charity stripes point with :15.

In overtime, Heuvellton (19-2) outscored H-D 9-4 for a 53-48 win as Heuvelton’s Alexis Weidner scored in transition, McCormick connected off a turnover, and Piercey grabbed a big rebound setting up Logan Tallman for one of two at the foulline and McCormick recorded a steal and was fouled and made one of two for a 6-0 run.

McCormick, a freshman, led all scorers wth 21 points. Senior Maddie St. Pierre tossed through another 10 followed by Alexis Weidner with eight and Piercey with five.

For the Lady Green Demons (17-3), Hunter Hitchman and Courtney Harrington struck for 15 points each.







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