The second half of Mondays match of NAC Central Division Girls Basketball leaders couldnt had have a more fitting ending.
Or a more frustrating finish for OFA which hosted Canton.
With 4.1 seconds to play, the host Blue Devils inbounded the ball under their own basket and were denied any semblance of a good look by the Bears (5-1 Central) who claimed a 44-42 win and displaced Devils (5-2 Central) from first place in a five-team Central race which includes 3-1 Malone and a pair of 3-2 teams in Salmon River and Massena.
After opening a 32-20 lead with 4:41 remaining the third quarter, the Devils were stymied by a stellar Canton defensive effort which contained a penetration-based OFA offense led by guard Riley Luckie and forward Susie Morrow.
This was definitely a very good game tonight and Canton played great when the tempo of the game got more physical in the second half, said OFA Coach Lynn Blevins.
We did a good job getting the lead but we just didnt play well offensively with the lead in the second half.
Cantons Emma Rexford scored eight of her 13 points in the fourth quarter and Katie Christy and Kali Frank led the overplaying defense which produced seven straight stops in the second half.
Rexford hit a floater in the lane with 37 seconds to play to give Canton its winning margin and only its second lead of the game.
Emma Rexford hit some big shots in the fourth quarter and our girls didnt panic when they fell behind by 11 points two minutes into the second half, said Canton Coach Mike Meyers.
Our defense was excellent. Katie Christy did a great job staying on Riley Luckies left side and preventing her penetration in the second half and Kali Frank did a nice job on Meg Dodge. OFA is a very tough team. This was an excellent game and a very big win.
Frank, who snatched four steals in the fourth quarter, scored eight points for the Bears and Emily Pinckney netted seven. Christy and Tori Daley each scored five points and Rachel Sanderson added four.
Morrow scored eight of her 13 points in the second quarter and grabbed six rebounds for OFA and Luckie tallied eight of her 10 points in the first half and also passed out four assists.
Felicia Barr delivered nine points and grabbed eight rebounds, Meg Dodge tallied six points with four assists and Shannon Tooley contributed four points, five rebounds and five steals for OFA which faces a key away game at Malone on Monday.
The Canton JVs stayed undefeated by warding off a stellar OFA comeback to claim a 49-39 win. Kiersten Ashlaw scored nine of her 13 points in a 13-3 second quarter run by Canton and Natalie DiSalvo netted 10 points including a pair of jumpers after OFA closed to 41-37 with 6:02 to play.
We got down early but we made a great comeback. We need to play a whole game like we did in the second half tonight, said OFA Coach Jade Vernsey.
Taylor Perry netted 13 points with three assists to lead OFA with Kiera Johnson netting eight points and five assists and Erin Tooley and Kristen Snyder each scoring six points while grabbing 17 and seven rebounds.
Danielle Guimond tallied five points and Jennie Dalton added one.
POTSDAM 47, GOUVERNEUR 42; Shanielle Chambers was the games high scorer with 19 points and Sarah Vivlamore contributed 15 points for Potsdam (2-6, 1-5). Kirstin Roberts paced Gouverneur (2-8, 0-7) with 14 points.
SALMON RIVER 43, MASSENA 39: Abby Kelly fired in a game-high 23 points as the Shamrocks. Taylor Francis helped out with seven points and seven rebounds for Salmon River (7-2, 4-2). Alisha Jacobs had 18 points for Massena (5-5, 3-2).