Once Galway settled in, Canajoharie had no chance.
The Lady Eagles shook off a dull first quarter Friday night and celebrated Senior Night by beating Canajoharie, 58-40. The win all but wrapped up second place in the Western Athletic Conference North Division for 8-3, 10-5 Galway .
“The kids didn’t have school today because it was a conference day,” said Galway coach Deb Wilday. “You’re always concerned, because it takes them out of their normal routine.
“Then, we also had Senior Night, and it’s an emotional night for the seniors. But they got it together.”
Galway outscored the Cougars, 35-12, over the middle two quarters, holding Canajoharie to a single basket and five points in the second quarter. That effort turned a 15-9 deficit into a 22-20 halftime lead that Galway further stretched with a 22-7 third-period advantage.
“Coach tells us not to get bagel butt, to do something during the day to stay active,” said Abby Spagnola, one of the seniors honored before the game. “It took us a while to get going. It was emotional, and that probably had something to do with it.
“But we’re a second-half team. We really were tonight.”
Wilday started five seniors. When she went to her bench, inserting guard Erica Chase and forwards Morgan Ritter and Lindsey Naughton, Canajoharie couldn’t find an answer.
“We’re young, and so most of our girls are experiencing this level for the first time,” said first-year Canajoharie head coach Joe Fowler, who has only two seniors on his team. “It takes them a while to adjust, and some of them haven’t stepped up yet.”
The Cougars spread the scoring around in taking their 15-9 lead at the first break. But the added quickness of Chase and the inside presence of Ritter, Naughton, Grace Milton and Amanda Gould forced Canajoharie into turnovers and hurried shots in the second eight minutes.
Alexis Kane had Canajoharie’s lone basket of the second quarter, and it came with just 13 second left.
At the other end, Galway was the one spreading the scoring around, with five players contributing.
“That’s the way we are,” said Wilday. “We usually get very balanced scoring. The girls look for each other, sometimes to a fault.”
The third quarter was a near replay of the second, as Chase, Spagnola and Tegan Matthews continually found teammates down low for easy shots.
Snyder and Gould both scored six points, nearly coming on short shots from along the baseline.
“It was a great way for it to end for our seniors on Senior Night,” said Matthews. “I’ve been playing with most of them since seventh grade.
“Once we settled down, we did well. I think we were a little eager at the start of the game.”
Gould finished with 12 points, Chase had 11 and Snyder had 10. Nine of the 13 Galway players scored.
“It’s a nice luxury,” said Wilday of the two styles her team played. “We can go big, and try to control the inside. Or, we can go small and quick, and try to speed things up and stretch the floor.
“Erica gives us a boost when she plays like that. Morgan and Lindsey really played well underneath.”
Galway broke a second-place tie with the Cougars behind Fort Plain. The 7-4, 8-7 Lady Eagles finish at at 4-6 Northville next Friday. The Lady Cougars complete league play at St. Johnsville, which entered Friday’s play without a league win.
Schwab 2-0-4, Kane 1-5-7, Bowerman 1-1-3, A.Logan 1-2-4, Dillebback 4-1-9, Dearwester 1-1-3, Veeder 1-1-3, Balfe 1-0-3, J.Logan 1-0-2, Pitanzo 1-0-2. Totals: 14-11-40.
Spagnola 1-3-5, Matthews 3-0-6, Gould 6-0-12, Chase 4-3-11, Ritter 4-0-8, Snyder 5-0-10, Breckinridge 1-0-2, Ceroala 1-0-2, Naughton 1-0-2. Totals: 26-6-58.
Canajoharie 15 5 7 13 — 40
Galway 9 13 22 14 — 58
Three-point goals: Balfe.