The girls in the Mechanicville sports program are collectors.
With a pair of state softball championship trophies and a plaque from last fall’s appearance in the state soccer final already in the school’s trophy case, the Red Raiders are one win away from adding a basketball championship.
The Red Raiders blew out Hudson Falls, 47-30, Friday in a Section II, Class B semifinal at Hudson Valley Community College. Mechanicville’s pressure caused 37 Tiger turnovers, and, at the other end, the Colonial Council team made its first 10 free throws and dropped six three-pointers on the Foothills Council club.
With a lineup composed of several players with that postseason experience in other sports, Mechanicville goes for the school’s first girls’ basketball title since 1989 on Monday when the Red Raiders play top-seeded Watervliet. That game is scheduled for 7:30 at Adirondack Community College.
Watervliet ended the run of a third Colonial team, 13th-seeded Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk, with a 48-31 win in the other “B” semifinal. The Indians had knocked off the four and five seeds to reach the round of four.
“We’re all used to playing together, in every sport,” said senior guard Shannon McBride, who finished with 12 points, one of three Mechanicville players in double figures. “and we’ve had a lot of success.”
“We’ve got a lot of players who play more than one sport,” said coach Bob Murphy. “We probably only have two or three girls who play basketball as their main sport.
“But they play well together, they have experience in big games, and they don’t like to lose.”
Mechanicville used its press, three-point shooting and a 10-for-10 effort from the foul line to run out to a 32-17 halftime lead.
“We wanted to go out and pressure them, and hopefully, build up a big lead,” said McBride, a shortstop and pitcher on the softball team. “Getting to the finals is big for us.”
The Red Raiders jumped out to a 13-4 lead, and made it 18-6 by the end of the first eight minutes. In that opening quarter, Mechanicville forced the Tigers into 10 turnovers, picking off inbound passes after baskets, or at the other end of the press.
McBride and Nicole Manupella both had seven points in the first quarter.
The big lead, and constant pressure, negated the Tigers’ top offensive player, Ashley Bounvaggio, who helped them knock off second-seeded Fonda-Fultonville in the quarterfinals.
“I watched them play Fonda, and I thought we were faster,” said Murphy. “They were bigger and stronger down low. We were hoping she [Bounviaggio] wouldn’t get the ball. We were trying to keep her away from the basket.”
That plan worked, primarily due to a press that prevented Hudson Falls from getting over midcourt. Alyssa Russell, McBride and Manupella hounded the recipient of the inbound pass, and Abby
Maiello was one of a group of rotating guards that picked off desperation passes near midcourt.
“Abby gets up in the air,” said Murphy. “They use their quickness and help each other out.”
The Red Raiders came out strong in the third quarter, with Manupella hitting a basket and a three-pointer, and Ang Mastropietro also scoring before the Tigers registered a second-half point. Hudson Falls managed just one basket in the third, with another 10 turnovers costing the Tigers any chance they had of getting back into the game.
The lead got up to 25 points, 44-19, at the end of three quarters. Manupella had seven of her team’s 12 points in that period.
“It took us a while to get going, because the soccer team did so well,” said Manupella, who had a team-high 14 points. “We went right from playing soccer on Saturday to basketball practice the next Monday.
“But it makes us a better team. We all know each other.”
“We got a late start with soccer, then we played Lansingburgh, Watervliet and [Class A finalist] Holy Names,” said Murphy, whose team opened 1-3. “But we got it
together. Nicole is responsible for a lot of that. She’s our leader on the floor.”
With another Colonial Council foe awaiting in the title game, the 15-6 Red Raiders are facing a familiar opponent.
“We wanted to play Watervliet again,” said McBride, whose team split with the Cannoneers during the league season.
Watervliet got 13 points from both Ailayah Demand and Kristen Skelly in beating Ravena.
Greenwich took control from the beginning, beating Berne-Knox-Westerlo, 65-27, for its first sectional title since 2003.
Sophomore Dani DeGregory scored 14 points as the 20-1 Witches took a 39-12 lead at the half. The Wasaren League club forced the Bulldogs into 23 turnovers in the first half, and allowed the Western Athletic Conference team to make just four field goals in the first 16 minutes.
DeGregory, named the Class C tourney MVP, finished with 24 points, 13 rebounds and four assists.
“She’s a special player,” said Greenwich coach Tim Brophy of the sophomore. “I get to see it every day.
“She’s always been able to score, but this year, she’s gotten much better at looking for her teammates.”
The early lead helped settle any jitters the Witches — who lost in the final last year — may have had.
“I was a little worried about their size, and he [BKW coach Tom Galvin] likes to use a lot of kids,” Brophy said. “But we started hitting our shots and played a solid game.”
Berne-Knox-Westerlo finished 17-4, which gives Galvin hope for the future.
“I have young kids, and to be here was an accomplishment,” said Galvin. “Greenwich lost here last year, and they knew what it took to get back here. Hopefully, we can learn from them.”
Tournament MVP Katie Roth scored eight of her team’s 13 fourth-quarter points, as unbeaten Maple Hill ended Hoosic Valley’s run of sectional championships at four with a 41-35 victory.
MECHANICVILLE 47, HUDSON FALLS 30
Bounvaggio 6-1-13, Heym 0-2-2, L. Forcier 1-6-9, E. Forcier 1-0-2, Brownell 1-0-2, Huntington 1-0-2. Totals: 10-9-30.
N. Manupella 5-2-14, Russell 0-2-2, S. McBride 4-2-12, D. Manupella 4-0-10, Mastopietro 1-3-5, Maiello 1-2-4. Totals: 15-11-47.
Hudson Falls 6 11 2 11 — 30
Mechanicville 18 14 12 3 — 47
Three-point goals: L. Forcier, N. Manupella 2, S. McBride 2, D.Manupella 2.
WATERVLIET 48, RAVENA-COEYMANS-SELKIRK 31
Waddington 1-0-3, Hotaling 3-5-11, McMullen 1-3-5, Randio 4-4-12. Totals: 9-12-31.
Demand 4-5-13, Murray 1-6-8, Tolliver 1-4-6, McGlynn 2-3-7, Skelly 5-0-13, Shufelt 1-0-2. Totals: 14-13-48
Ravena 3 16 8 4 — 31
Watervliet 15 14 9 10 — 48
Three-point goals: Waddingham, Skelly 3.
MAPLE HILL 41 HOOSIC VALLEY 35
Chapko 1-0-3, Kugler 5-2-12, Lanoue 1-0-2, Moore 4-0-11, Sullivan 1-0-2, Anderson 2-0-5. Totals: 14-2-35.
DerGurahian 3-0-9, Mosher 1-2-4, Roth 8-5-21, An. Racz 2-3-7. Totals: 14-10-41.
Hoosic Valley 7 3 18 7 — 35
Maple Hill 10 7 11 13 — 41
Three-point goals: Chapko, Moore 3, Anderson, DerGurahian 3.
GREENWICH 65, BERNE-KNOX-WESTERLO 27
Bates 1-3-5, S. Harvey 0-1-1, L. Harvey 2-1-5, Bishop 1-1-3, North 1-1-3, Salo 4-2-10. Totals: 10-6-27.
DeGregory 9-4-24, Woodard 4-0-8, Eddy 3-0-6, Fitzgerald 3-0-7, Anuszewski 3-2-9, Dusha 1-0-2, Isgro 3-0-7, Sipperly 1-0-2. Totals: 27-6-65.
BKW 5 7 7 8 — 27
Greenwich 19 20 19 7 — 65
Three-point goals: Bates, DeGregory 2, Fitzgerald, Anuszewski, Isgro.