The Times
  • GIRLS' BASKETBALL: Mounties win Class C sectional title

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  • SYRACUSE, N.Y. — There was little suspense Friday when Section III determined its Class C champion.
    Little Falls’ Mounties — undefeated, seeded first in the playoffs and ranked second in the state — scored the first 13 points of the game and never trailed on the way to a 59-38 win over Fabius-Pompey, beating the Falcons for the second time in three years in the Carrier Dome. A fiery halftime pep talk from coach Pam Munger reignited the Mounties who quickly extended a 10-point lead at the break to 17 by the middle of the third quarter and 23 at the end.
    “Two years ago we had nerves like crazy,” said senior Kelli Shepardson whose free throws helped Little Falls cinch a 46-44 win in the 2012 title game. “We’ve never been so nervous. This year, we felt more like we’ve been here before.”
    Schoff, classmates Kelli Shepardson and Amy Hart, and junior Hannah Becker, all started for the team that went to the dome two years ago and Shepardson, Schoff and Becker were also starters on Little Falls’ first sectional soccer championship team in the fall, along with senior Sarah Bruins, the other basketball starter.
    Schoff would claim her second Section III tournament most valuable player award and played a pivotal role in the Mounties’ strong start. She had 10 points during the 13-0 start on her way to a 30-point, 15-rebound, six-block, three-assist performance. Fabius-Pompey never got closer than eight points after Little Falls’ initial burst.
    “The start of the game is probably the most important part of the game,” Schoff said.
    It took the Falcons 12 minutes of game play to raise its point total past Schoff’s.
    The Mounties (22-0) held a 30-20 lead at halftime and their coach was ready to remind them they were capable of more.
    “At halftime we weren’t playing well enough and we knew that,” said Shepardson who had 11 points, 10 rebounds and three assists and was picked for the tournament all-star team. “Coach let us know it. She calls it ‘third-quarter fire’ and the challenge is to go out and get as many points as we can.”
    After scoring 17 points in the first quarter and 13 in the second, the Mounties increased their pressure and put up 20 in the third. Little Falls entered the fourth quarter leading 50-27, having already scored more points than Fabius-Pompey (18-4) had in all but one of its previous 17 games.
    “It was comforting to know we did what we needed to do,” Munger said, “but we went into the locker room up 10 points and it was not enough. The kids knew it was not enough.”
    Hart chipped in with nine points and four steals for Little Falls while Becker had three steals and Bruins, who began chemotherapy treatment for Stage 3 Hodgkins lymphoma in December, grabbed four rebounds in her most extensive playing time since Thanksgiving.
    Page 2 of 2 - Accustomed to playing with a short bench — Little Falls started the season with seven players — the large cushion allowed all 11 current Mounties to get involved — even junior Cheyenne Rivenburg who made a brief cameo in the fourth quarter, her first game action since breaking the fibula in her right leg in the final game of the regular season.
    “We love it when we have our whole team together, when everybody’s healthy,” Shepardson said.
    Rivenburg got in for 2 1/2 minutes and managed to grab a defensive rebound and get off a shot before returning to the bench.
    “It was such a good feeling to get her into the game,” Munger said. “I told Sarah before the game, ‘I don’t know who makes me more nervous, you or her, at this point,’”
    Racheal Scalisi scored 13 points and Avery Charette had 11 for Fabius-Pompey.
    The Mounties head back to Syracuse Saturday for a regional playoff game against Section IV Harpursville at 5:30 p.m. at Onondaga Community College. Harpursville, also unbeaten and the state’s top-ranked Class C team, defeated Lansing 44-33 Saturday afternoon in its sectional final at the Broome County Arena.
    FABIUS-POMPEY (18-4) — Emily Vilardi 1 0-0 3; Avery Charette 4 2-7 11; Sidney Charette 1 0-2 2; Sidney Lelakowski 0 0-0 0; Hannah Carroll 3 1-4 7; Heather Leonard 0 0-0 0; Sarah Thayer 1 0-0 2; Racheal Scalisi 4 4-4 13. Totals: 14 7-17 38.
    LITTLE FALLS (22-0) — Kelli Shepardson 3 2-6 11; Hannah Becker 1 2-4 5; Gen Schoff 11 7-10 30; Lauren Bennett 0 0-0 0; Sara Reardon 0 0-0 0; Cheyenne Rivenburg 0 0-0 0; Laura Wind 0 0-0 0; Caira Miles 0 0-0 0; Sarah Bruins 1 0-0 2; Amy Hart 3 2-4 9; Maria Morotti 1 0-2 2. Totals: 20 13-26 59.
    Fabius-Pompey 9 11 7 11 — 38
    Little Falls 17 13 20 9 — 59
    Three-pointers — Fabius-Pompey 3 (A.Charette 1, Scalisi 1, Vilardi 1); Little Falls 6 (Shepardson 3, Becker 1, Hart 1, Schoff 1).
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