J-D beaten by Troy in girls hoops regional

Rams battle to wire, but take 49-43 loss

— It turned the rest of the game into a tense chase. J-D never lost sight, moving within five (38-33) going to the fourth quarter and not surrendering even when it went more than six minutes without a field goal before Cavanaugh's 3-pointer with 4:40 left broke the drought.

Maddy Frank's basket cut it to 42-39, but both then, and after Goodrum's basket made it 44-41, Troy forward Krystyn Knockwood answered with key baskets, spreading the margin back to five.

Frank made it 46-43 with a jumper with 51 seconds left. On the ensuing possession, the Flying Horses worked the clock down and, with 23.3 seconds to play, Mary Pattison drew a foul.

Calmly, Pattison made both free throws, stretching Troy's margin to 48-43. When J-D tried to answer, Avery got a block, one of three she made in the closing stretch, and another free throw from Avery sealed it as she finished with a game-high 15 points.

Goodrum, in defeat, paced J-D with 13 points, but had only four points after halftime. Siechen said that Troy collapsed its defense on Goodrum in the latter stages, forcing J-D to go outside, where it simply didn't make enough shots to catch up, though Ariell Mussi finished with nine points and Cavanaugh and Frank got eight points apiece.

While Troy moved a step closer to playing in its hometown for the state Class A final four (held at Troy's Hudson Valley Community College March 15-16), J-D saw its season end at 18-4, though it could take solace in capturing back-to-back sectional titles.

The challenge, in seeking a three-peat in 2013-14, is doing so without Goodrum, Cavanaugh and Mussi, along with Taylor Fallon and Emily Fitzgerald. It wlll be up to the likes of Frank and Alyssa Robens to set the pace for the Rams in the near-future.

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