The conclusion of Ogdensburg Free Academys Ben Cordwell Memorial Girls Basketball Tournament will be played on New Years Eve for the first time ever on Monday.
And both the host Lady Blue Devils and defending champion Hammond showed the credentials to score a gala victory in Fridays first round action. Hammond (7-0) remained undefeated with a 42-28 victory over Madrid-Waddington (5-1) in a match of unbeatens while OFA (6-2, 4-1 NAC) secured its second NAC Central Division win of the season over Gouverneur (2-6, 0-6 Central) in 51-31 decision.
OFA and M-W will play for the JV title in Mondays action which will start with the JV consolation and championship games at 11 a.m.
Hammond is a great team from a great program and we are really excited about playing them for the title, said OFA Coach Lynn Blevins.
They won the title last year and we won it the year before so it should be a great game. We really have to play good defense because they moved the ball extremely well and shot the ball extremely well against Madrid-Waddington.
OFA 51 - Gouverneur 31: Excellent fullcourt defense keyed Thursdays win over the Wildcats as the Devils press triggered a 17-10 first quarter advantage and a lockdown 19-4 margin in the third quarter.
We played our best third quarter of the season tonight. The girls were extremely focused, said Blevins.
And we had good offensive balance. For us to be successful we need five or six players to make solid contributions offensively.
Five Devils scored six points or more led by Riley Luckie (3 assists) who netted three threes in a 15-point effort and Felicia Barr who was extremely efficient inside with 11 points with 7-8 free throw shooting and nine rebounds. Meg Dodge (4 assists) buried threes on back-to-back possessions in the first quarter and finished with 10 points.
Susie Morrow (7 steals) and Courtney Sherwin (5 rebounds) each scored six points and Shannon Tooley played a key role in the press and the press-breaker contributing four points, five rebounds and five steals. Rebecca Bulsiewics and Kirstin Roberts combined for eight and seven points for Gouverneur and Danielle McCormick netted five.
Hammond 42 - M-W 28: Hammond Coach Shawk Dack credited his teams experience and ability to make adjustments for an important victory in matchup of two perrenial small school powers. A victory founded upon excellent ball movement and the deadye three-point shooting of Gabby Marshall against a M-W defense designed to cope with the game-dictating skills of Alyssa Crosby.
Marshall buried three threes in the first quarter as the Red Devils opened a 14-6 lead and were never headed as the Yellowjackets struggled to attain any consistency from the perimeter to attack Hammonds zone defense.
Marshall netted five of her six threes in the first half scoring a game-high 20 points and Crosby tallied 12 points while being a force on the backboards and the passing lanes on both ends of the court.
We havent had a full practice in over three weeks what with illness, vacation and then the snowstorm. Experience was really a big key for us. These girls have played together along time and they moved the ball quickly to set up good shots, said Hammond Coach Shawn Dack.
Alyssa Crosby draws a lot of attention and she deserves it. But we talk all the time about other players stepping up and Gabby Marshall certainly did it tonight. They (M-W) are a good team and it is just unfortunate that Bridget Beldock is unable to play for them.
Mikayla Horton (5 points) and Courtney Bova (3 points) also netted threes for the Devils and Cassie Whalen added two points to go along with a strong rebounding effort.
Olivia Parmeter (3 steals) and Tess Knight scored eight and seven points to lead the Jackets and Katie Marcellus grabbed nine rebounds while scoring four points. Jenny King and Desiree Pryce also added four and Taylor Lenney chipped in a free throw for the Jackets who went 10-12 from the free throw line.
Hammond shot the ball extremely well and played god defense. Overall we played good defense and we had some success with a gimmick defense but we just couldnt get anything going tonight from the outside, said M-W Coach Gary Tischler.
Defense anchored OFA and M-W in the junior varsity openers where the Devils downed Gouverneur 50-22 and M-W checked Hammond 41-22.
Erin Tooley led the OFA scoring with eight points, Maddie Bresett and Kierra Johnson each netted seven and Alicia Shaver tallied five. Shannon Knowlton scored six points for Gouverneur.
Hanna Marcellus and Kaleigh Field combined for 18 and 12 points in the M-W win and Sam Dugan added seven Sierra Flemming and Ally Crosby each scored six points for Hammond and Paige Frisina added four.
Harrrisville 46, C-F 39: Harrisville played shut down defense keyed by a 12-0 second quarter run. Janel Swanson scored 16 points including 10 of 14 from the foulline for Harrisville.
Hunter Hitchman needing 23 to become the schools first female to score 1000 varsity points and the schools fourth all-time 1000 point scorer finished with 11 for the Eagles.
NC 45, Massena 42: Sidney Thompson netted a team-high 14 points for the Red Raiders (4-2) in a Section 7-10 Challenge game.
Malone 42, Plattsburgh 34: Jenelle Heden led the way with 15 points for the Huskies (6-2).