J-E girls basketball hands Cazenovia first defeat, 50-40

Meanwhile, J-E head coach Leslie Ahern used a time-out in the middle of that third period. She said that she told her players that everyone had to step up, especially on the defensive side - and they did.

For a nine-minute stretch, lasting deep into the fourth quarter, J-E allowed just one field goal. And its best job was done containing Cazenovia senior Ashley Stec, who had just two points all night. Hourigan combined with Andrianos, Richardson and McLaughlin, each of them taking turns in the paint harassing Stec into wild shots and grabbing the boards to prevent second-chance opportunities.

Despite all this, the Eagles only led 43-40 with less than 2:30 to play. Then Hourigan hit on back-to-back shots, with a couple of blocks in between to fill out her triple-double, to make it 47-40, and Andrianos and Davis sank three free throws in the final minute to put it away. All told, Davis had nine points, with Andrianos contributing eight points.

This win means that J-E (16-2) is the likely no. 3 seed for the Section III Class B playoffs - with Cazenovia (17-1) the no. 2 seed behind top seed South Jefferson, who is still unbeaten at 17-0. That means a possible third Eagles-Lakers showdown in the sectional semifinals, should the seeds hold.

Ahern said that, at this same time a season ago (when the Eagles reached the sectional finals), "we stepped up at the end. I hope we have that same kind of run this time."

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