LITTLE FALLS 56, WATERTOWN-IMMACULATE HEART 44
A big lead got away from the Little Falls Mounties at the end of the first half Tuesday. The same would not happen in the second half.
The Mounties, seeded second in Class C-1, advanced to the Section III finals with a 56-44 win over Immaculate Heart of Watertown at Jamesville-DeWitt High School. Although they gave up an eight-point lead in the final two minutes of the second quarter, the Mounties never fell behind on the way to a seventh consecutive victory.
“We started playing December basketball,” coach Pam Munger said of her Mounties who stood at 5-4 in early January before going on a run that has seen them win 10 of their last 11 games, “and I’m standing on the sideline, shaking my head, going, ‘Where is my team?’ We had a little refocus chat at halftime to get them back into the February/March mode.”
The Mounties (15-5) responded by scoring the first points of the second half and attacking the Cavaliers’ interior defense with the tandem of Jenna Becker and Gen Schoff. Becker scored a game-high 20 points while Schoff had 14 with seven rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots.
“We said we needed to take care of the boards,” Munger said, “and when we get down the floor we need to get the ball to what we’ve got and that’s Gen and Jenna — Jenna in the post and Gen getting in good position.”
Immaculate Heart (10-10), an upset winner over Onondaga in the quarterfinals as the sixth seed, got back within two points early in the fourth quarter before Little Falls made another 7-0 run. A three-point play by Becker gave the Mounties a 10-point lead for the first time with 4:53 left in the game. The margin fluctuated between six and 12 points the rest of the evening.
Becker fouled out with 1:53 left in the game and Sarah Bruins tacked on six late points while filling her spot in the lineup.
Becker and Schoff combined to score 14 points to help Little Falls get out to a 21-13 lead in the first half. Then lead would have been larger had the Mounties not missed 10 foul shots during that time; they shot 7-for-17 in the first half and finished the game 15-for-28.
Briana McClusky scored 11 points for Immaculate Heart. Christine Wright, the Cavaliers’ leading scorer, finished with eight points, including six in the fourth quarter. Maddy Brand also scored eight points.
Kelli Shepardson scored seven points for Little Falls and Hannah Becker contributed five assists.
The Mounties will play again Feb. 28 at a site and time to be announced. Their opponent will be decided Wednesday when Herkimer meets top seed Thousand Islands at Baldwinsville High School at 6 p.m.
Page 2 of 2 - LITTLE FALLS MOUNTIES 56, IMMACULATE HEART CAVALIERS 44
IMMACULATE HEART (10-10) — Maddy Brand 3 0-0 8; Erin McClusky 1 2-2 4; Christine Wright 3 2-2 8; Briana McClusky 4 0-0 11; Kayla Miles 1 3-4 5; Harpreet Aujla 3 0-0 6; Lindsey Netto 1 0-2 2. Totals: 16 7-10 44.
LITTLE FALLS (15-5) — Kelli Shepardson 3 1-3 7; Hannah Becker 1 2-2 4; Jenna Becker 8 4-8 20; Gen Schoff 3 8-15 14; Sarah Bruins 3 0-0 6; Amy Hart 2 0-0 5; Kristi Torres 0 0-0 0. Totals: 20 15-28 56.
Immaculate Heart 7 14 7 16 — 44
Little Falls 13 8 11 24 — 56
Three-pointers — Immaculate Heart 5 (B.McClusky 3, Brand 2); Little Falls 1 (Hart 1).