The Berne-Knox-Westerlo girls’ basketball team pulled off a stunning comeback in Wednesday night’s Western Athletic Conference championship game, scoring the final 12 points to deal Fonda-Fultonville a rare defeat, 54-49, at Fulton-Montgomery Community College.
Fonda-Fultonville, which won its seventh straight WAC Northern Division title and beat Schenectady Christian in the semifinals, held a 49-42 lead with three minutes left.
“This is a great way to head into the sectionals,” Bulldogs coach Tom Galvin said after his team rallied for its sixth win in a row and first WAC title-game victory since 2004. “It lets us know that we can beat anyone.”
Pressure defense and scoring from four underclassmen lifted Berne-Knox-Westerlo (15-3) over the top in Fonda-Fultonville’s final WAC appearance. The school’s athletic teams will compete in the Colonial Council starting next school year.
“It’s a tough loss,” said Lady Braves coach Wendi Waters. “We dug ourselves an early hole again but we came back, and then we let it get away. It’s a disappointing way to go out.”
Fonda-Fultonville’s 48-39 semifinal win was its 29th in a row against WAC opponents. The Lady Braves (16-2) had not lost to a WAC team since Schenectady Christian beat them in the league’s title game in 2008, 30-29.
“We hit some big shots and played some great defense in the fourth quarter,” said Galvin. “For such a young team, it was a great win.”
Baskets by Liz Harvey, Sam Harvey and Jean Farnam started the late run, and two free throws by Marian Bates gave BKW a 50-49 lead with just over a minute left. Bates and Farnam both added two more free throws inside that final minute.
Liz Harvey finished with 15 points, including eight in the fourth quarter, for the WAC Southern Division co-champions.
Fonda-Fultonville (Class B) and Berne-Knox-Westerlo (Class C) are No. 2 seeds for the Section II tournament.
Patriots at home
Schenectady’s 53-40 win over Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons Tuesday night, coupled with Amsterdam’s 72-69 overtime upset of Troy, left the Patriots in sole possession of fourth place in the final Big 10 standings and gave them one more home game at Pat Riley Sports Center.
As the Big 10’s No. 4 seed, Schenectady (9-7 league, 10-7 overall) will host Suburban Council No. 5 seed Guilderland (7-9, 8-10) Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the first round of the Section II Class AA tournament. Troy (8-8. 10-8), the Big 10’s No. 5, will travel to Suburban Council No. 4 Colonie (10-6, 10-8) Wednesday.
“It’s always better to be at home,” Schenectady coach Mark Sausville said after his team ended a four-game slide. “And it’s nice for the seniors to get one more opportunity to play at home.”
Senior Josh Williams scored a season-high 14 points in Tuesday’s home contest, and freshman Eddie Stanley, a recent junior varsity call-up, was among three players who added seven points.
Where are they now?
Niskayuna High School graduate Brian Grastorf was among 16 Ithaca College football players honored at the team’s recent postseason banquet.
Grastorf was presented with Ithaca’s John Fasolino Award after passing for 2,220 yards and 22 touchdowns for the 7-3 Bombers. The senior team captain completed 203 passes, setting a school 10-game record, are was named Empire 8 and ECAC Offensive Player of the Week after wins against Widener and Hartwick. Grastorf was also picked as Ithaca’s outstanding back after a win against St. Lawrence.
Grastorf set a Section II single-game record in 2005 when he passed for 436 yards in a win over Schenectady. He passed for 3,382 yards in his high school career, and passed for 3,333 yards in college.