Two Warriors look inside, win girls’ Class A semis (with photo gallery)

The Suburban Council flexed its muscles Tuesday night in the Section II Class A girls’ basketball se

The Suburban Council flexed its muscles Tuesday night in the Section II Class A girls’ basketball semifinals at Col­onie High School.

The result left top-seeded and previously unbeaten Scotia-Glenville and 2010 finalist Holy Names outplayed inside the paint and done for the season.

Second seed Mohonasen, the 2009 “A” champ, disposed of Holy Names, 45-31, in the first game. Averill Park, which won the state and Federation titles a year ago, followed by knocking out Scotia-Glenville, 49-37. Both winners used strong inside games to advance to Friday’s championship.

Mohonasen used 15 points from junior Sam Hall and 14 from senior Mallory Kuchis to pull away from Holy Names, then let senior Lea McClain run the show in the fourth quarter.

“We want to go inside, no matter who we’re playing,” said Mohon­asen coach Paul Brosius said. “Sam and Mallory had good games.”

Kuchis had six of her eight first-half points in the opening quarter as the Mighty Warriors took an 11-7 lead. Holy Names owned the second quarter, but then Hall took over, scoring eight in the third quarter as Mohonasen took a four-point lead into the final eight minutes.

“We were working on ways to get the ball inside,” said McClain, who only had two points on a pair of free throws at the half, but finished with 12 points.

Hall admiitted to not having a great first half.

“I get a little nervous,” she said. ”In the second half, I decided to pick it up a little.”

Mohonasen turned the tables on Holy Names in the third period, outscoring the Colonial Council team, 12-4.

“We had a little letdown, coach talked to us at halftime and told us we couldn’t have another letdown,” said McLain, who had six points in the fourth quarter and set up Hall and Kuchis for easy baskets, as well.

“We look inside a lot, but if have the shot, we take it,” said Hall. “A lot of our plays go inside.”

McClain was part of a team that got to the state finals two years ago. But with the core of that team gone, she wasn’t sure she’d be able to play for another sectional title.

“I’m so happy. I wasn’t sure if we’d ever go back, but we worked so hard all season long,” McClain said. “I want to win sectionals again so bad.”

For Hall, playing in Friday’s 7:45 p.m. championship at Hudson Valley Community College will be a new experience. Not an unexpected one, though.

“We always knew we could get here,” she said. “We play a lot of Class AA teams, so we’re ready.”

Averill Park took Scotia-Glenville out of its game early, jumping out to a 16-4 lead over the Foothills Council champion, and holding the Tartans’ leading scorer, Cassie Broadhead, without a shot for the first eight minutes.

“We wanted to limit Broadhead’s touches,” said Averill Park coach Sean Organ, who assigned Brooke O’Shea the job of guarding the two-time Foothills MVP.

O’Shea also scored four points in the first quarter, but it was two other players who showed why they would be tough for Scotia to defend, as Bridget Carney scored twice inside and Allison Nunziato hit a three-pointer.

“We played tentative, and didn’t handle the pressure well. We haven’t seen pressure like that before,” said Scotia coach Regan Burns, whose top-seeded team took a 19-0 record into the game.

“We dug a hole that we were never able to get out of, and any time we fought back and made a little bit of a run, they made a big shot.”

With Broadhead slowly getting involved, Scotia got to within nine points late in the second period, only to see Nunziato nail another of her four three-pointers. The same scenario played out in the third per­iod, as Carney controlled the lane and the backboards and Nunziato turned aside two more Scotia runs with threes.

“They shot extremely well, and had a lot of second-chance opportunties,” said Burns. “They’re phys­ical, and took us out of what we like to do.”

Carney didn’t play a lot last year, but she honed her game in practice.

“We all learned from the best last year,” she said after finishing with a team-high 17 points. “I learned a lot from playing against my teammates every day in practice last year.”

O’Shea started last year. But with the team losing its other four starters — including state Class A Player of the Year Katie Duma — she wasn’t sure if the Warriors would be a postseason factor.

“Everybody was new,” she said. “But we kept working.”

“Everyone thought we couldn’t possibly be good this year, with the players we lost and with no seniors,” said Organ. “To get a chance to to defend our title shows how good a job everyone has done.”

AA semis tonight

The Class AA finalists will be decided tonight, when defending champion Shenendehowa takes on Colonie at 6, and Shaker meets Albany at 7:30 in a double-header at Hudson Valley Community College.

Shenendehowa had a first-round bye and beat Niskayuna, 48-35, in the quarterfinals, and also handed 18-2 Colonie one of its two losses this season.

Shaker, 18-2 with both losses to Shenendehowa, is looking to get back to the “AA” finals after losing to Shenendehowa last season.

Albany, the Big 10 champ, takes a 16-3 record into the semifinals.

The Class AA final is set for Saturday at 3:30 at HVCC.

Top-seeded Voorheesville meets Greenwich in the second game of a Class C semifinal double-header at Rensselaer High School.

Seventh-seeded Berne-Knox-Westerlo plays No. 3 seed Cambridge in the 6 p.m. opener. The semifinal winners meet for the championship Saturday at noon at HVCC.



Agan 3-2-9, Spicer 2-0-4, Murray 4-0-8, Ky. Small 2-0-4, Jordan 2-0-6. Totals: 13-2-31.


McClain 3-6-12, Hall 7-0-15, Kuchis 7-0-14, Cowell 1-1-4. Totals: 18-7-45.

Holy Names 7 12 4 8 — 31

Mohonasen 11 4 12 18 — 45

Three-point goals: Agan, Jordan 2, Hall, Cowell.



Carney 7-3-17, O’Shea 3-1-7, Mai 2-6-11, Nunziato 4-0-12, Burridge 1-0-2. Totals: 17-10-49.


Broadhead 5-7-18, Janson 2-2-6, Conley 1-2-4, Sanboeuf 1-0-3, A.DiJohn 2-0-4, J. Ferrari 1-0-2. Totals: 12-11-37.

Averill Park 16 7 11 15 — 49

Scotia-Glenville 4 10 11 12 — 37

Three-point goals: Nunziato 4, Mai, Broadhead, Sanboeuf.

Categories: High School Sports

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