Dec 10, 2011 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Local girls basketball fans may have a whole lot to look forward to this winter within the OHSL Liberty division, given the way teams like Jordan-Elbridge, Westhill and Bishop Ludden have started.
Of course, it’s the Eagles that carry the most recent success, led by senior center Molly Hourigan, who is on her way to Holy Cross next year to play Division I hoops.
Before that, though, Hourigan will try to lead J-E to a Section III Class B title that just eluded them the last two seasons, with defeats in the 2009 finals (to South Jefferson) and 2010 semifinals (to eventual champion Cazenovia). It would do so without six departed seniors from those squads, including Kali Davis, Natalie Andrianos, Kelsey Richardson and Ella Thorpe.
For the opening test, J-E visited Nottingham, from the Class AA ranks, and Hourigan was up to her usual tricks as the Eagles fought past the Bulldogs 37-31.
Nottingham did not make it easy in any way, leading 19-16 after a low-scoring first half. But J-E’s defense clamped down further, holding the Bulldogs to two points in the third quarter as it moved out in front and held on late.
Through it all, Hourigan nearly got another triple-double, finishing with 20 points, along with 10 rebounds and nine blocked shots. Fellow senior Ashley Foote chimed in with eight points, while Amanda Wheeler put up six points.
Elsewhere, Westhill and Bishop Ludden also secured non-league wins.The Warriors were already 2-0 after early wins over Fulton and CBA, but made it three in a row Thursday night by going to East Syracuse-Minoa and fully controlling the contest in a 54-43 win over the Spartans.
All through the first three periods, Westhill relied on a balanced attack to baffle ESM. It led 30-18 at halftime and outscored the Spartans 19-9 in the third period before easing up in the late going.
Anna Ross led with 16 points, but ESM couldn’t concentrate on her because Maggie Tripodi and Gwen Dougherty were putting up 12 points apiece. What’s more, Kelly Mascari hit on a trio of 3-pointers to account for most of her 10 points.
A day earlier, Bishop Ludden began its 2011-12 season, looking to improve upon last year’s 8-12 mark, and took a positive first step by defeating Nottingham 54-42.
As in Westhill’s case, the winning margin was deceptive, but for a different reason. For much of the night, the Gaelic Knights and Bulldogs stayed within close range of each other, Ludden getting a lead but unable to get away.
Only in the closing minutes, with successful free-throw conversions, could the Gaelic Knights pull clear. Kelly Granteed had 19 points, hitting on three 3-pointers, while Lauren Roy finished with 14 points. Inside, Natalie Barletta managed nine points and Nicole Granteed added eight points.
Marcellus, on the other hand, slipped to 0-2 Thursday night, running into Cortland and taking a 60-33 defeat to the Purple Tigers.
Cortland used a 19-7 surge through the second quarter to pull clear. All night long, the Mustangs watched Purple Tigers star Maggie Brown dominate in the paint, as she finished with 27 points and 14 rebounds, plus four assists and four steals.
By contrast, no Marcellus player scored in double figures. Meghan Witkowski and Molly MacLachlan came close, earning nine points apiece, while Bethanie Abbott managed seven points.
In Friday’s 56-38 defeat to Bishop Grimes, the Mustangs never fully recovered from the Cobras’ 20-4 first-quarter blitz, fueled by red-hot outside shooting.
Grimes, in fact, hit a dozen 3-pointers, tying a team record, and senior Amelia Heiselman struck for seven of them on her way to 24 points overall.
To its credit, the Mustangs chipped away at that deficit before the Cobras pulled away in the late going. Grace Hunt finished with 11 points, while Nicole Wynne added 10 points. Abbott (eight points) and Witkowski (six points) were close behind.
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