CANTON - Heuvelton will be looking to repeat two postseason overtime upsets while Hammond will be looking for a repeat championship and a return to the New York State Tournament on Friday in the Section 10 Class D Overall Championship of the Section 10 Girls Basketball Tournament.
The stage for Fridays game SUNY Potsdam was set in a dramatic doubleheader at SUNY Canton, on Tuesday, which opened with second-seeded and number six state-ranked Hammond (19-1) turning back Chateaugay (16-4) 39-35.
The fifth seeded Bulldogs (15-6) followed with a 39-37 overtime victory over top-seeded and number eight state-ranked Madrid-Waddington (19-2) to follow up a double overtime win over Clifton-Fine in the quarter-finals.
Hammond, which suffered its only loss of the season to Class B finalist OFA, will be looking follow up on two NAC West wins over the Bulldogs who engineered a postseason rival after losing three of their last four regular season games.
IN DEFENSIVE DUEL
Hammond and Chateaugay have built highly regarded girls basketball progams at the West and East borders of Section 10.
Invariably, the Devils of the NAC West and the Bulldogs of the NAC East play their way into Section 10 Championship games before huge crowds.
And invariably lifelong memories are made.
On Tuesday night at SUNY Canton, one year after Hammond rallied from a 24-point halftime deficit to win the Section 10 Class D1 Championship, it was the Bulldogs trying to snatch the Class D2 Championship from behind with a methodical rally founded upon tenacious man-to-man defense.
A comeback which started when the Bulldogs revived their seemingly stalled cause by scoring four points in 20 seconds to narrow a 16-9 margin to the 16-12 at the half.
Anchored by Alyssa Crosbys scoring off post-up and penetration moves the Devils used excellent halfcourt offense to rebuild their lead to six points at various ventures of the second half. But each time Chateaugay answered with defensive stops and crucial three-pointers by Hannah Cook and Courtney Boyea.
Boyea (8 points) hit two threes and Beach (15 points, 3 3s) netted one in the fourth quarter but Hammond used 10 fourth quarter points with 6-8 free throw shooting by Crosby and 11-13 free throw shooting as a team in the quarter to claim a 39-35 victory.
Chateaugay plays defense 84 feet for 32 minutes and their athletes have enjoyed success at the highest level. We knew how they play and we worked very hard to prepare for them, said Hammond Coach Shawn Dack who used the trio Crosby, Marshall and Courtney Bova to handle the ball against the relentless pressure applied by Hannah Cook and Alexis Beach.
We did a good job overall. I think Hannah Cook had one steal she took for a layup. And offensively we did a good job with our job with our offensive rotations to have people back for transition defense.
Crosby, who collected 24 points, eight rebounds, four assists and five blocks, netted four straight free throws after two Cook free throws cut the difference to 31-29 with 2:21 to play.
Emily Bush hit a pair of free throws with 45.6 seconds to play and Gabby Marshall added one with 13 seconds to play after an inside three-point play by Chateaugays Makayla Fleury (5 points, 9 rebounds) created a 37-35 difference.
Crosby added one free throw with 7/10ths of a second to play after rebounding Chateaugays last shot of the game.
Emily Bush hit two very big free throws for us tonight and she is the kind of player you can count on, said Crosby who worked inside throughout the contest.
I have played in the post quite a bit this season and I have enjoyed it. I worked hard on it this summer.
Brianne Langtry netted six points and grabbed six rebounds for the Devils, Bush (5 rebounds) and Bova (4 assists) each tallied four points and Marshall (5 assists) added one. Katie Beach added six points for Chateaugay, Abby Barnes added two and Caitlyn Miller grabbed seven rebounds.
NO. 1 JACKETS
Staying poised in a very emotional contest the Bulldogs advance to Class D finals for the first time since a New York State Final 4 appearance in the 2004-05 season.
Alexis Weidner made it 38-35 with two free throws with 25.6 seconds left in overtime and after Jenna King of M-W hit two free throws with 9.7 seconds remaining Weidner added another free throw with 7.7 seconds left.
The Bulldogs then denied an inside shot for the win.
Im just extremely proud of this team tonight, said an elated Heuvelton coach Rob Powers whose team reversed an early season loss to Madrid-Waddington in the finals of the Jessica Chamberlain Memorial Tournament.
Tonight, we played defense like a piece of gum on the bottom of our sneakers, just relentless. We stayed poised and picked up a very big win.
I credit this win to our win over Clifton-Fine after two regular losses. Clifton-Fine is a good team and that showed us we can play with good teams,
After M-W (18-2) took a 10-7 first quarter lead and opened it to 15-9 with 3:50 left in the second quarter on a four point play from Olivia Parmeter - the Bulldogs managed to cut the deficit to 18-14 before halftime.
Logan Tallman hit a three with 3:45 left in the third to trim the deficit to 20-19 before Olivia St. Pierre tied the game at 20-20. Tess Knight gave the Yellowjackets a 22-20 advantage after three quarters with a offensive rebound putback.
The Jackets and Bulldogs traded baskets and free throws before Tallman hit another three off an assist by JV call-up Paige McCormick for a 31-30 advantage with one minute remaining in regulation. Bridget Beldock tied the game at 31-31 with 1-of-2 free throws with 31.3 seconds remaining.
In overtime, Beldock hit a three with 2:28 left for a 35-32 lead. McCormick answered with a jumper to cut the deficit to 35-34 and made it 36-35 scoring off a skip pass from Olivia St. Pierre with 44.5 seconds to play setting the stage for Weidners decisive free throws.
After the steal, I was really nervous about getting the free throws down, said Weidner who scored five of her eight points in overtime.
But they fell and after Madrid-Waddington got two - the next two were more difficult. My teammates have been waiting three years for this chance. We just played very hard. And I just cant say enough of how Paige McCormick stepped in tonight after Maddie St. Pierre and Logan Tallman got into foul trouble. She played super.
McCormick finished with five of her nine points in the overtime. Logan Tallman (3 steals) hit four threes scoring a team-high 12 points while Weidner (four assists, the steals, two rebounds), Olivia St. Pierre (four rebounds, two steals) each added eight points. Maddie St. Pierre had seven rebounds.
Our free throws were killers in the fourth quarter (3-10, 9-24 game). And we struggled offensively to score. In the playoffs anything can happen and sometimes you lose games that way. Unfortunately, that happened tonight. But credit Heuvelton they stuck around and got some shots to go in late and Coach Rob Powers has done a great job with them this season. said M-W coach Gary Tischler who is retiring after this season.
Bridget Beldock led Madrid-Waddington with 13 points, eight rebounds and five steals, Jenn King scored nine points and hauled in 14 rebounds and Tess Knight contributed eight points, four steals, four rebounds and four assists.
Olivia Parmeter added four points, four rebounds and two steals while Katie Marcellus added three points, three rebounds and three steals.
Hopefully, this win gives us confidence heading into Fridays game against Hammond. Theyre just a very good program, added Powers.