POTSDAM The higher seeds earned a chance to play for the Section 10 overall girls basketball championship after notching semifinal round wins Tuesday at SUNY Potsdams Jerry Welsh Gymnasium.
In the first game, Class D champion Heuvelton knocked off Class B and defending overall tournament champion Canton, 62-47 to make its first appearance in the overall final. In the first game, Class A champion Malone turned back Class C champion St. Lawrence Central, 46-21, which was making its first appearance in the overall playoff.
Malone and Heuvelton will square off in the overall final at noon Saturday at SUNY Potsdam.
HEUVELTON 62, CANTON 47
As Heuveltons backup center, Kylie Piercey has made her presence felt on the climax stage of the Section 10 girls basketball tournament.
In the Class D championship game against Hermon-DeKalb on Friday, she went into the game late in the fourth quarter and made pivotal plays as the Bulldogs prevailed in overtime.
In Tuesday nights Section 10 overall semifinals against Class B champion Canton, Piercey drew a starting assignment when first-team All-NAC West selection Olivia St. Pierre was hindered by an allergic reaction to medication.
The 5-foot-10 junior scored six straight points inside and sparked the Bulldogs to an 18-5 first quarter lead and then combined with guard Alexis Weidner to seal the victory after a furious Canton rally cut a 41-20 deficit to 43-36 with seven minutes to play and then 47-42 with 4:11 to play.
Kylie Piercey has really stepped up as a junior. She is taking the ball to the basket much tougher, said Weidner, who scored eight points in a balanced offense that was led by 15 points from Maddie St. Pierre.
Piercy finished with 12 points and eight rebounds, while Paige McCormick and Logan Tallman delivered 10 points apiece. McCormick added 10 rebounds for the Bulldogs. Tallman also went 5-for-7 from the foul line in the fourth quarter where Heuvelton went 13-for-19 as a team. Heuveltons strong rebounding also played a key role in closing out the win.
We have an excellent team because it is not one or two players who lead the way, Weidner said. Its always different people.
The Bulldogs (20-2) will draw a bye and host a state Class D quarterfinal game at 11 a.m. March 9 at SUNY Canton.
This has really been a great season with a lot of big wins, said Heuvelton coach Rob Powers. We have beaten a bunch of very good Class D teams, we beat Class B champion Canton twice, we beat Class C champion St. Lawrence Central and now we get a chance to play the Class A champion in Malone.
Cantons comeback was led by Tori Daley, who scored 13 of her game-high 17 points in the second half. Kali Frank scored seven of her 15 points with a pair of threes in the first half and netted six fourth-quarter points for the Bears (16-4).
The free throw shooting was a real problem tonight and many of our misses came on the front ends on one-on-ones, said coach Mike Meyers. And we didnt rebound well, especially in the fourth quarter when they controlled their own missed free throws.
Canton will travel to Troy High School to play the Section 2 champion at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
MALONE 46, ST. LAWRENCE 21
Malone (19-1) scored the first 10 points of the game and led 20-10 in the second quarter before the Larries (13-8) battled back to make it a six-point game. Malone went into halftime leading 24-14 and outscored SLC 7-5 in the third quarter before sealing the win with a 15-2 fourth-quarter run.
With the awards (before the game) and not playing in eight days we came out stale, said Malone coach Shelley Skelly. Defensively, we did a good job. Offensively we were very patient got some great looks in that 10-0 run but then we got very impatient offensively and didnt run our stuff well. We tend to not use the clock to our advantage and thats when teams start taking advantage of it.
St. Lawrence senior Lindsey Thayer, who was later announced as one of the four finalists for the Jan Reetz Award as the outstanding girls player in Section 10, anchored the SLC offense with eight points, six rebounds and two blocks. Breanna Evans tallied eight points and Jenna Kesner had six rebounds.
Morgan Fountain, Meghan OConnor and Janelle Heden netted eight points apiece for Malone.
St. Lawrence will now play the Section 7 champion in the first round of the state Class C tournament at 6 p.m. next Tuesday at SUNY Potsdam.
We got down but we played hard. We had really nothing to lose tonight, said St. Lawrence coach Chad Gauthier. We got to play against a team that is very good and our next game will be against a team like Malone. Weve got (Northern Adirondack) or Seton Catholic next and both are good clubs.