Watervliet thrives on “D”

Watervliet girls’ basketball coach Gordie Johnson’s voice was so hoarse that his players couldn’t h
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Sectional basketball brackets

To view sectional basketball brackets, click on the appropriate link:

Boys: Class AA, Class A, Class B, Class CC, Class C, Class D.

Girls: Class AA, Class A, Class B, Class CC, Class C, Class D.

TROY — Watervliet girls’

basketball coach Gordie Johnson’s voice was so hoarse that his players couldn’t hear him, so he called more timeouts than usual in a hectic fourth quarter.

But it really didn’t matter what Johnson had to say, because the only thing he really wanted his team to stress was defense, and that’s exactly what the Cannoneers did during a 32-28 victory over Maple Hill in the Section II Class CC-C playoff game Monday night at Hudson Valley Community College.

Watervliet struggled from the floor, shooting 10-for-37, but the Cannoneers forced 20 turnovers and limited the Wildcats to just 10 field goals in 42 attempts.

The 17-7 Cannoneers, who lost several standouts from last year’s Class B championship team, advance to the regional semifinals to play Seton Catholic of Section VII Wednesday at 7:30 at Adirondack Community College.

Senior forward Paige Colfer scored 10 of her 14 points in the opening quarter, but that scoring spree was not reflective of the kind of defense both teams played the rest of the game.

“There wasn’t a lot of scoring today,” said Johnson. “At this time of the year, it’s defense that wins games. I thought Paige was going to have a big game after that first quarter, but they [the Wildcats] made some adjustments, and collapsed on her in the paint. She’s a gamer, though, and she hung in there.”

Johnson was extremely pleased with the way senior point guard Molly McGrouty played on both ends of the court. Not only did she harass the Maple Hill guards from end line to end line, but she also sank three crucial free throws in the final quarter to help clinch the win.

“They weren’t pretty. She banked in two of them, but we needed them,” he said. “All of our players played great defense, especially Molly and Clarissa Paff, who goes unnoticed every game, even though she is one of the best defensive players in the area.”

Colfer also had eight rebounds for Watervliet, while senior Chanessa Blakemore contributed 10 points, 15 rebounds and four blocked shots. Paff recorded three assists.

Maple Hill, ranked among the state’s top Class C schools all season, finished at 22-2. Sarah Timmons topped the Wildcats with eight points, while Katie Roth had six points and eight rebounds.

WATERVLIET

McGrouty 0-3-3, Colfer 6-1-14, Blakemore 4-2-10, Paff 1-0-3, Gates 1-0-2. Totals:

12-6- 32.

MAPLE HILL

Arno 2-0-5, Filkins 1-1-3, Racz 2-2-6, Timmons 4-0-8, Roth 2-2-6. Totals: 11-5-28.

Maple Hill 11  6  7 4 — 28

Watervliet 10 7 11 4 — 32

Three-point goals: Colfer, Paff, Arno.

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