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Section 3 roundup: Copenhagen knocks out Alexandria in girls hoops

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COPENHAGEN — Cassidy O’Donnell eats a slice of cheese pizza and a Mountain Dew before every game.

The Copenhagen senior joins a few of her friends on the girls basketball team for a pre-game meal at Jacobs’ Place, a family-operated pizza and sub shop in town, before heading back to the gym.

“We spend all kinds of time there,” O’Donnell said. “It’s silly but it’s a way to get us focused.”

The bonding ritual serves them well as third-seeded Copenhagen prevailed against No. 6 Alexandria, 48-38, for the fourth time this season, during a Section 3 Class D quarterfinal game on Wednesday.

Copenhagen is set to meet No. 2 New York Mills in a semifinal game at 2 p.m. Sunday at Onondaga Community College in Syracuse.

The familiarity of playing a team four times isn’t always an advantage.

“It seems that the more times you play a team the more they creep up on you a little bit more,” Copenhagen coach Natalie Scott said. “They know so much about you. We beat them by (51) points in the regular season, but yet we had a battle tonight.”

The Golden Knights failed to gain much momentum in the first half, leading by just four points at halftime.

“They’re a tough team all-around,” O’Donnell said. “We weren’t having much of a flow in the beginning. It took us until the the third quarter to get going. It was kind of a late start, which disappointed us at halftime because we wanted to be ahead by a little more.”

Copenhagen got it together in the second half but never gained a comfortable lead until Erika Eddy grabbed a rebound and scored with 3 minutes remaining, to give the Golden Knights a nine-point edge.

Alexandria finished 12-for-16 at the free-throw line.

“They’re very good at making their foul shots, so you can’t foul them,” Scott said. “When they drive they are stronger than when they sit outside and shoot 3-pointers, especially against us. I think that’s the most affective thing that they do against us because they can drive to the basket and get fouled and get on the foul line.”

O’Donnell, one of Copenhagen’s stronger defenders, was assigned to guard Alexandria’s Lorraine Beard, who scored 13 points. Rebecca Hitchcock had 14 points, and Rachael Calhoun nine for Alexandria (10-10).

“We had to shut down Beard,” O’Donnell said. “She’s a very well-rounded player. Our defense had to be there. We had to get rebounds because Calhoun’s a big rebounder in there.”

Senior guard Logan Wheeler scored 14 points, including four 3-point field goals, for the Golden Knights (15-3), while eighth-grader Maci Spaulding connected on three treys to finish with nine points. Rachel Muncy had nine rebounds and six steals for Copenhagen.

“We planned a lot for their outside shooters,” Calhoun said. “They pass in and out all the time. They move the ball very well.”

BOYS BASKETBALL

BEAVER RIVER 64, SOUTH LEWIS 36

Alex Hall scored 15 points and blocked eight shots to pace the top-seeded Beavers to a Section 3 Class C-1 quarterfinal win over the eighth-seeded Falcons in Beaver Falls.

Tarren Farney chipped in with 13 points for Beaver River (18-1), which won its 14th consecutive game and advances to the semifinal round to face No. 4-seeded Little Falls on Saturday at OCC.

Zack Steiner had 11 points for the Beavers, who built a 37-15 lead by halftime. Jason Martin scored a game-high 17 points for the Falcons (9-10).




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