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General Brown erases Thousand Islands’ main threat

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DEXTER — Coaches vs. Cancer fund-raisers like the “White out,” girls basketball game between General Brown and Thousand Islands on Friday are becoming a regularity.

But rarely do you see a “white out,” in the field goal column of Kristin McGraw’s stat sheet.

The Lions held the Vikings’ senior to just three points from the foul line, and made 8 of 11 free throws in the fourth quarter to preserve a physical 41-35 victory over the Vikings in a Frontier League crossover game at General Brown High School.

McGraw, the school’s all-time leading scorer in boys and girls basketball, entered the game averaging a league-high 19.7 points.

Friday’s game matched her lowest scoring output in the last two years; her previous low this season was 12. She was coming off a 34-point performance against Lyme.

“That was a good defense that they put on us,” Thousand Islands coach Pete Pettit said. “We kind of knew it, but we just physically couldn’t match up and get her open. Other kids need to step up and score, and it just didn’t happen.”

General Brown (4-3 overall and league), winner of its second straight game and four of its last five, used junior Katie Pitkin to face guard McGraw and doubled her when she touched the ball.

“We were working all week in practice on trying to shut down (McGraw),” said Pitkin, who scored a game-high 15 points to go with six rebounds. “I had a lot of help from my team on screens, they were there until I could get back and recover.”

The Lions came out strong at the start, holding the Vikings to just five first-quarter points.

They led 27-14 at halftime. McGraw and Thousand Islands’ second-leading scorer, Alesha Waterman, were both held scoreless in the first half and shot a combined 0-for-7 from the field.

The Vikings (7-1, 6-1) slowly chipped away at the lead throughout the second half, and cut it to 38-35 with 40 seconds left.

But General Brown senior Hope VanBrocklin sank a pair of free throws, and Thousand Islands never got it back to a one-score game.

“I had thought that overall this year, we haven’t been playing as well as we should be,” General Brown coach Mike Hulbert said. “I’m very proud of the girls, they came out, they worked hard, and they hung in there down the stretch when things looked like they could go south on us.”

The Vikings were unbeaten entering the game, winning by an average of 30 points. Their slimmest margin of victory was 11 points over Copenhagen, which was the only game that they didn’t win by at least 25.

Pettit said it was the team’s first game this year with that level of intensity and physicality.

“We’re not used to that, they really let it go,” Pettit said. “But that’s what we’re going to see come sectional time is physical play. So I think it’s a win for us as far as learning what we need to work on.”

“We’ll definitely take a lot out of this because the kids take this game personal,” he added. “So hopefully we’ll hit the gym a little madder and make a good run here.”

VanBrocklin and freshman Rhea Pitkin scored eight points apiece for General Brown.

Allie Barton and Karly Sherman, both seniors, each scored seven points to lead Thousand Islands. Barton also hauled in 11 rebounds. Waterman was held to four points, matching a season low.

n The game, which was preceded by two junior varsity games and followed by a boys varsity game, served as a fund-raiser for Coaches vs. Cancer.

It was the fourth straight year the two schools have put on the event, alternating the host school each year. They also choose a different color each year to raise awareness for different forms of cancer. Hulbert said white was chosen this year to incorporate all colors and “stomp out all kinds of cancer.”

It was the first time the Lions beat the Vikings since the series started in 2009.


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