J-E girls slam Westhill, move to Class B final

Leslie Ahern picked up something when her Jordan-Elbridge girls basketball team suffered a pair of defeats to Westhill earlier this season.

Both times, the Eagles' man-to-man defense was inadequate to contain the Warriors, and now a third meeting loomed - in Monday's Section III Class B semifinals at Chittenango High School.

With a lot of time to practice (10 days, due to an elongated schedule and a winter snowstorm), J-E worked on a 2-3 zone defense, something it hadn't tried much against any opponent, much less Westhill.

That zone worked - as did many other things as the Eagles dominated the Warriors in a 51-30 romp.

A large and loud J-E contingent cheered from beginning to end as the Eagles earned a trip to Saturday's Class B title game against South Jefferson at Utica Memorial Auditorium.

It didn't take long for the Eagles to establish itself, using a series of steals in the first quarter to ease out of a sluggish offensive start.

"We realized that, with the zone, they (Westhill) didn't know what to do," Ahern said.

Kali Davis had six points in a 10-2 run that pushed J-E ahead for good, but that was just the appetizer for greater success later on.

Molly Hourigan, who had back-to-back triple doubles in playoff wins over Watertown IHC and Sherburne-Earlville, served as the pivot point in the zone, blocking shots as she and her teammates completely smothered Westhill on the boards from start to finish.

Hourigan also had eight points in the second quarter, helping J-E expand its lead to 24-16, but it was the third quarter that left the Warriors far behind.

A combination of Westhill's cold shooting and its inability to get second shots resulted in a drought where it went more than 10 minutes without a field goal.

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