Mohonasen girls catch fire in the second half

It was not the beginning they wanted, but the Mohonasen girls will take the end result.

It was not the beginning they wanted, but the Mohonasen girls will take the end result.

Shut out in the first quarter and trailing at halftime, the top-seeded Mighty Warriors turned things around and beat No. 5 Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, 42-30, in a Class A girls’ basketball semifinal at Col­onie High Tuesday night.

In the earlier semifinal, No. 2 Averill Park handed the third-seeded Academy of the Holy Names its only loss after 21 consecutive wins, 49-43.

Suburban Council South Div­ision rivals, Mohonasen (20-2) and Averill Park (15-7) will meet for the title Saturday at 1:45 p.m. at Hudson Valley Community College in a rematch of last year’s championship, which AP won, 55-26. Mohonasen last won a sectional championship in 2002, when it took the Class B title.

The teams battled in two close league games this season, with the Mighty Warriors winning each contest by one point, including a 50-49 victory less than three weeks ago.

Lea McLain, Mohonasen’s soph­omore point guard, scored all of her game-high 18 points in the second half to lead the Mighty Warriors’ comeback Tuesday night.

Burnt Hills used an aggressive defense in the first quarter to take a 6-0 lead, preventing Mohonasen from getting on the scoreboard until McLain drove and dished a bounce pass to teammate Courtney Cowell for a bucket 18 seconds into the second quarter.

Georgina Farrow, who led the Lady Spartans with 13 points, responded by firing in a three-pointer from the top of the key for a 9-2 lead. But Mohonasen began to chip away, trimming Burnt Hills’ advantage to 11-10 when Ashley Tallman sank a three-pointer from the left with 19 seconds remaining in the second quarter.

“We defended people well all season long,” said Spartans coach Don Juron, whose team finished at 4-18, but went 3-3 to close the regular season. “We knew we had to shut down their two strong players, and we wanted to put some ball pressure on them, full-court, to try to get them to use as much as clock as possible before they could get into their halfcourt sets.”

Seven seconds into the second half, though, McLain drove the lane for a layup and foul, converting the free throw for the Mighty Warriors’ first lead of the game, 13-11. Thirty-three seconds later, Cowell fed McLain for a three-pointer from the left for a 16-11 advantage.

Though Farrow responded with a three-pointer of her own to draw the Spartans to within 16-14, Burnt Hills would never come within two points again, as the Mighty Warriors scored the next nine points.

“Once we kind of turned up the tempo a little bit, and just told Lea, just go make some things happen with penetration, really, with all of them, but it all starts with Lea since she’s the point guard, I think that really changed the game,” Mohonasen coach Paul Brosious said.

“In the beginning, I think I, myself, was tentative,” McLain said. “In the second half, I knew I could blow by players if I just worked hard. When I crash, I create options, and it gives other people chances to score, and it also helps our defense, as well.”

“She played aggressive [in the second half],” Adach said. “She just took it to the basket, and she took what they gave her.”

Still, the Spartans hardly folded, twice getting to within five points in the final quarter. Back-to-back jumpers near the foul line by Maria Allocco brought Burnt Hills to within 33-28 with 4:09 remaining in the game, and Jenna Juron sank two free throws to make it 35-30 with 2:33 to go.

But Adach and McLain combined for five successful foul shots over the next 1:57, and Dayna Lashin’s two free throws sealed it with 18 seconds remaining.

In the opening semifinal, Averill Park overcame Holy Names’ 13-10 first-quarter lead to take a 31-21 advantage at halftime. But Holy Names held the Lady Warriors to four points in the third quarter and later tied it, 38-38, when Hannah Wilson took an outlet pass for a bucket underneath with 4:15 remaining in the game.

Averill Park scored the next six points for a 44-38 lead, and held on as Holy Names drew to within 45-42 on Lee Arduini’s free throws. But Katie Duma sank four free throws to seal it.

AVERILL PARK 49, HOLY NAMES 43

HOLY NAMES

Wilson 1-0-2, Agan 3-2-9, Witte 2-1-5, Ca. Spicer 4-4-12, Moore 4-0-9, Murphy 0-0-0, Arduini 2-2-6. Totals: 16-9-43.

AVERILL PARK

Bri. O’Shea 0-3-3, Duma 4-6-15, Nunziato 4-2-12, Hawes 2-0-4, Bro. O’Shea 3-3-9, Streb 3-0-6. Totals: 16-14-49.

Holy Names 13 8 11 11 — 43

Averill Park 10 21 4 14 — 49

Three-point goals: Agan, Moore, Duma, Nunziato 2.

MOHONASEN 42, BURNT HILLS 30

BURNT HILLS-BALLSTON LAKE

Farrow 4-2-13, Allocco 2-0-4, Juron 1-6-8, Shively 0-0-0, Brown 0-0-0, Lawry 2-0-5. Totals: 9-8-30.

MOHONASEN

Adach 1-1-7, Aviza 1-2-4, Cowell 1-0-2, Lashin 1-3-5, McLain 5-6-18, Tallman 2-1-6. Totals: 12-14-42.

BH-BL 6 5 8 11 — 30

Mohonasen 0 10 20 12 — 42

Three-point goals: Farrow 3, Lawry, Adach, McLain 2, Tallman.

Categories: High School Sports

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