POTSDAM — One day after their coach, Alyssa Crosby, delivered her second child 11 days late, the Hammond Lady Revils came through right on time for a convincing victory over Hermon-DeKalb in the Class D Semi-Finals of the Section 10 Girls Basketball Tournament.
Longtime Varsity Softball Coach Katina Dillon guided the semi-final game for her first varsity basketball win over her long career and said it couldn’t have come a better time. Right after her neice brought Callie Marie Kenyon into the world at eight plus pounds.
Hammond, 17-0 and ranked first in the NYS Class D Poll, calmy excecuted in all phases of the game to best H-D (13-10) in the third meeting of the season between the NAC West Division rivals.
“The girls played great and did every thing we talked about and they were very comfortable. A lot of these girls have played together since third grade and it doesn’t matter if they are seniors of sophomores or freshmen they all get along. And girls from Morristown came over and they are one family,” said Coach Dillon.
“The girls all came to the hospital today to see Alyssa and the baby and they brought flowers. Alyssa told them to score more points than the other team and they did. Alyssa plans to be back coaching on Saturday.”
Class D East Co-Champion Chateaugay (18-3) will be one of the youngest teams to every play for the Class D crown as two eighth graders, two sophomores and one junior formed the starting lineup which advanced past defending champion Heuvelton 41-30.
“A don’t have the words to express how proud I am of this team. We are young and we make mistakes but they have played so well the past two games,” said Chateaugay Coach Chris Reynolds.
“They just love to be in the gym. Defensively we knew who their key players were and we did a good job limiting their touches”
The match NAC West and NAC East Champions will take place at 1 p.m. at SUNY Potsdam will be followed NAC East Co-Champion Madrid-Waddington against NAC Central Division runner-up Canton for the Class C title. The third game of the day will pit NAC Central Division Champion Gouverneur and OFA in a match of the first and second seeds.
Injuries to all-star caliber players in Katie Cunningham and Alli Trathen and illness forced Heuvelton bring up players from a JV team which went undefeated in NAC play.
Trathen, the team’s only senior, gamely played with an ankle injury trying to give her team a lift but the Bulldogs never solved the Chateaugay defense and were never able to come back from a 17-6 first quarter deficit. The Franklin County Bulldogs opened a 38-19 lead after three quarters and spent much of the fourth quarter running the shot clock down on every possession.
Eighth grader Irelynn Martin tallied 10 points with two 3-pointers in the first quarter and went on to score a game-high 14 points in a well-rounded floor game which also included 6 rebounds, 5 assists and four steals. Center Kaelyn Morgan (10 rebounds, 1 block) tallied six of her 12 points in the third quarter where Chateaugay outscored Heuvelton 12-9.
Madison MaComb tallied 8 points with 5 rebounds and other scoring came from: Avery McDonald (3 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals), Neveah Adams (2 points) and Aurora Gogolean (2 points, 6 rebounds).
Rylin McAllister tallied 10 points with 4 rebounds for Heuvelton, Raya McGaw netted 8 points with 4 rebounds and Cassidy Pray (4 rebounds) and Alli Trathen (2 steals) each finished with five points. Miah Scott added 2 points.
“We just didn’t look to score today and we didn’t match their intensity. You always know what Chris (Chateaugay Coach Chris Reynolds) and his team are going to bring and you have to match it,” said Heuvelton Coach Rob Powers.
“Alli Trathen gave everything she had. If we could just apply her heart with everything we do.”
The quality of Hammond’s win was a synopsis of their season as the Devils used their length in a very active zone to close on H-D’s perimeter shots, controlled both backboards and scored off excellent ball movement and unselfish passing in transition and in their halfcourt sets.
Working off a series of entry passes to the post and converting on the run in the fastbreak Landree Kenyon led all scorers with 31 points and forward Sadey Sprabary tallied 11. They combined for nine and eight points in the second quarter to spark the Devils to a 22-14 advantage.
Ava Howie tallied tallied 8 points and Hailey Manning added four while playing all over the court. Zoe Cunningham added two points to round out the scoring.
Guard Olivia Simser tallied 15 points to lead the Green Demons and Jayla O’Donnell worked the interior for 10 points with 6-8 free throw shooting. Aalyhia O’Donnell (2), Natalie Appel (2) and Hailey Brabaw (3) rounded out the scoring.
“Hammond played extremely well and we just couldn’t get our shots to go down. In the second half nothing would fall,” said H-D Coach Bobby Bice.
“But that’s where we stand. Now we just have to go back to work.”
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