Feb 22, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
In separate brackets, the Corcoran and Nottingham girls basketball teams wanted to advance ahead in the Section III playoffs — but only one would make it to the second week.
That would prove to be the Cougars, who despite its 17-1 regular-season record only garnered the no. 3 seed for the Class AA tournament, where it sought its second sectional title in three years.
For a while Friday night, Corcoran had trouble with no. 6 seed Liverpool — but a well-timed pep talk jolted the Cougars into action, and it rolled to a 55-32 victory over the Warriors.
Corcoran struggled to match the younger Warriors’ energy level in the game’s early stages, and it allowed Liverpool to sneak into a 16-16 tie.
Twice, Cougars head coach Jim Marsh called time-outs, trying to get his players’ attention. Finally, on the third try, Marsh was more intense, asking for more effort. He got it, especially on the defensive side.
For more than nine minutes, Corcoran held Liverpool without a point, all the while going on a 20-0 run that stretched deep into the third quarter.
From there, the Cougars cruised to the win as Carrie Blunt picked up 16 points and 16 rebounds, and Coriesha Hickey got 12 points and five steals. Zephrah Pam added nine points.
Corcoran advanced to face Christian Brothers Academy in the AA semifinals Friday at 6 p.m. at Liverpool, with the winner to get Cicero-North Syracuse or Fayetteville-Manlius in the March 6 finals at Utica Memorial Auditorium.
Nottingham, who had played Class AA teams all winter, moved down to the Class A bracket for the sectional tournament and, as the no. 10 seed, made an immediate impact.
The Bulldogs went north for last Wednesday night’s opening round to meet no. 7 seed Indian River and used its size and quickness to deliver a 50-37 victory over the Warriors.
All through the first half, forwards Nikki Works (who is going to Temple University next year) and Javona Torrence produced inside baskets against IR’s defense, while Nottingham held the Warriors’ potent outside shooters without a 3-pointer.
At halftime, the Bulldogs led 29-17, and though the Warriors finally did hit some outside shots in the late going, it could not catch up.
Overall, Works had 19 points, as she and Torrence (16 points) both cleaned up on the boards and combined for nearly as many points as IR’s entire roster. Jessica Dailey led the Warriors with 22 points.
This led to Friday’s quarterfinal, where the Bulldogs went in the other geographic direction to face no. 2 seed Cortland — and nearly won again, only to have the Purple Tigers hang on and prevail 53-50.
Down 12-11 after one period, Nottingham appeared to take charge in the second quarter, as Works shut down Cortrland’s star forward, Courtney Tennant, and the Bulldogs took a 25-21 lead to the break.
The lead stretched to 29-22 in the third period when, after a time-out, the Purple Tigers moved Maggie Brown to the front line to help Tennant. Immediately, Cortland started to grab more rebounds and, by the end of the quarter, had gone ahead 38-36.
All through a tense fourth quarter, the two sides traded 3-pointers and free throws before the Purple Tigers used rebound baskets by Tennant and Nacirema Mann to expand its lead to 52-46.
Still, the Bulldogs fought back, using a pair of Davetta McKinney baskets to inch closer, the second of them coming with 26 seconds left to make it 52-50. Aubrey VanGorder’s free throw put the margin back at three, and a tying 3-point attempt by Works from mid-court at the buzzer missed the target.
Works finished with 15 points, while Torrence earned 10 points and Mekkah Frazier had eight points. Brown led Cortland with 18 points as Tennant picked up 13 rebounds to go with her 11 points.