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Westhill, Ludden girls advance in Class B playoffs

A lot is on the line when the Westhill girls basketball team goes north to Adams to face top seed and defending champion South Jefferson in Friday night's Section III Class B quarterfinal.

The no. 8 seed Warriors (13-5) are trying to give its head coach, Sue Ludwig, her 400th career victory, achieved in just 20 seasons of work that includes eight sectional championships and a state Class C title in 1996.

To reach this point, Westhill had to get past no. 9 seed Clinton in Tuesday night's opening round - and after a quiet start, it roared to a 60-28 victory.

More than four minutes had passed before Westhill got on the board. Clinton could not take full advantage of this drought, though, only leading 4-0, and once Ashley Cianfriglia hit a 3-pointer, the hosts settled down.

By the end of the period, Westhill, constantly pushing the tempo, led 13-7, nad the margin grew to 31-11 by halftime. That margin doubled in the second half, Westhill getting ahead by as much as 40 before backing off late.

Cianfriglia, who surpassed the 1,500-point career mark a week earlier, had 22 on this night, most of it from four 3-pointers. Maggie Tripodi stepped up for 16 points, while Anna Ross finished with 13 points.

As this went on, Bishop Ludden, the no. 11 seed in Class B, went on the road, making the long trek to no. 6 seed Sherburne-Earlville and emerging with a 65-56 victory over the Marauders.

Ludden took full advantage of S-E's slow start, gaining an 11-7 lead in the first quarter. When the pace intensified, the Gaelic Knights kept up, increasing its margin to 29-23 by halftime and then doubling the lead to 48-36 by the time the third period was done.

Kayla Kibling, hitting three 3-pointers, led Ludden with 20 points, while Lauren Roy poured in 19 points, seven of them free throws, and Natalie Barletta contributed 11 points.

This win sends Ludden (8-11) into Friday's Class B quarterfinal against no. 3 seed Jordan-Elbridge (16-2), which starts at 7 p.m. The Eagles beat the Gaelic Knights twice in the regular season, including a 52-36 decision on Feb. 15.

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