One thing the Hamilton girls basketball team cannot pull off in the 2009-10 regular season is to top what it did last winter.
That's because the Emerald Knights were a perfect 19-0, then added two playoff victories before getting caught by hot-shooting Sackets Harbor in the Section III Class D title game.
Three senior starters graduated -- Jess Brawn, Kylie Martin and Calyn Fisher. But the return of two superb young talents, junior Jordan Peterson and sophomore Katie Weeks, should assure that Hamilton will be a force again.
And if anyone doubted that premise, the Emerald Knights quieted that skepticism with a sweep to the championship of the season-opening Morris Tournament on Thanksgiving weekend.
The first round on Friday proved to be a rout, as Hamilton jumped all over DeRuyter and didn't stop until it had put together a 63-24 victory over the Rockets.
Showing no rust, Hamilton nearly blanked DeRuyter in the first quarter and scored at will to claim a 19-2 edge. By halftime, the margin was 36-7, and the Emerald Knights only let up in the fourth quarter after the lead had grown to 57-16.
Each of the nine Hamilton players that saw action got at least one field goal. Peterson led the way inside with 19 points, while Weeks' 13 points included a trio of 3-pointers. Katherine Keever stepped up with 10 points, with Hillary Hanson contributing six points.
This led the Emerald Knights to Saturday's final against Deposit. This time, the outcome was in doubt until Hamilton put together a third-quarter spurt that made the difference in a 48-39 victory.
Deposit kept up throughout a tightly-played first half, only trailing 27-21 at the break. The Emerald Knights tightened up on defense, though, holding Deposit to just five points in the third quarter and extending its margin to 40-26, which was enough.
Weeks continued to find her range, hitting on four 3-pointers and leading both sides with 20 points. Peterson remained consistent, with 11 points, as Keever added eight points.
After opening Center State Conference play at New York Mills on Tuesday, Hamilton is off until its Dec. 9 home opener against Otselic Valley.