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Salmon River girls celebrate

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POTSDAM – The Salmon River girls basketball team emerged as the lone state tournament winner among Section 10 contenders Saturday, defeating defending state champion Watervliet, 73-65, at SUNY Potsdam to advance to the Class B semifinals.

Salmon River’s Abby Kelly scored 35 points as the Shamrocks survived Watervliet’s Ailayia Demand’s 39 points to prevail and set up an 11:45 a.m. Friday meeting in the final four at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy. Salmon River last made the state semifinals in 1982 when current head coach Karen Francis was a player on the Shamrocks.

“I’ve been waiting for them to play like this all year,” said an exuberant Francis, who had trouble holding back the tears of joy. “I am so proud of this team. They have worked so hard to get to this point.

“We said coming into this game that we were going to leave everything on the floor, and that’s exactly what they did. They left it all out there. I couldn’t ask for anything more out of them. We beat the defending state champs.”

In other games, the Massena girls fell to Troy 62-45 in a Class A quarterfinal at SUNY Potsdam. The Hammond girls lost to Fort Edward, 64-45 in a Class D quarterfinal at Adirondack Community College in Queensbury.

In boys quarterfinal games, Section 10 Class B champion Ogdensburg Free Academy lost to Section 2’s Watervliet 73-58 at SUNY Potsdam. Class D’s Madrid-Waddington lost to Section 2’s Argyle 77-59 at Hudson Falls High School.

SALMON RIVER 73, WATERVLIET 65

Kelly paced the Shamrocks, ending with an 18-for-20 performance from the foul line, as Salmon River took control of the game early, then battled back and forth with Watervliet before emerging as the winner.

The teams were tied at 61-61 with 5 minutes, 27 seconds left in the game when Salmon River’s Jaiden Mitchell hit one of her three 3-pointers. Kelly then stole the ball, was fouled and hit both ends of a one-and-one.

Watervliet (21-3) closed the gap to a single point and appeared to have a chance to go ahead when Demand made a crucial steal with just over a minute to play. But Demand was called for her fifth foul of the game while driving to the basket, eliminating her from the game.

With 32 second left, Aliyah Cook grabbed a rebound of a missed foul shot by Kelly and was fouled. Cook made both shots to put Salmon River (17-6) up by four, sealing the game.

Cook finished with 17 points and five rebounds for the Shamrocks. Taylor Francis added eight rebounds, four steals and three assists. Kwiio King supplied nine rebounds.

TROY 62, MASSENA 45

The Section 2 champion Flying Horses used their height and long limbs to perfection by forcing the Red Raiders (12-8) into several early turnovers, which led to Troy taking a 17-8 lead after the first quarter.

Troy’s full-court pressure continued during the second quarter, limiting Massena to just six points as Troy held a 30-14 cushion at the break.

“It was really tough with their length. That’s something that we haven’t seen this season,” said Massena coach Roy Thomas. “Their arms were really long and they took away our passing options early, which led to their lead.”

The defensive pressure and size of the Troy girls forced Massena into 32 turnovers, as the Flying Horses (17-4) extended their lead to double figures midway through the second quarter.

Mary Pattison led the way with a game-high 21 points and grabbing a team-high seven rebounds for Troy.

Alisha Jacobs led the Massena offense with 18 points while Marissa Manley added 10 points.

FORT EDWARD 64, HAMMOND 45

No. 1-ranked Fort Edward showed why it is the top-rated Class D team in the state against No. 3 Hammond at Adirondack Community College in Queensbury.

The Flying Forts (23-0) knocked off the 20-3 Red Devils in the quarterfinals, sparked by a 20-6 first quarter start.

Taylor Boucher led the way with 25 points, 18 of those coming in the first half, and Meghan Hendricks added 12 points and 11 rebounds as Fort Edward led 53-25 after a three quarters. Sam Godfrey finished the game with 10 points, six assists and seven steals for the Forts.

Alyssa Crosby finished with 17 points for Hammond. Emily Bush logged eight and Gabby Marshall added seven.

The Flying Forts advance to the semifinals at 10:45 a.m. Saturday at Hudson Valley Community College.

BOYS BASKETBALL

WATERVLIET 73, OFA 58

After watching OFA strike for 16 points in the first 4:27 of the third quarter, and take a 48-40 lead, everyone in the Watervliet camp knew that it needed a strong start to the fourth quarter to advance in the Class B quarterfinal game at SUNY Potsdam.

Senior Tyler McLeod also sensed that it was his time to step forward and lead his team back to the final four where Watervliet dropped a one-point decision to Bishop Ludden in last year’s state final.

He stepped up immediately, scoring off a drive to erase a 50-49 OFA lead. He scored 11 points in four minutes and went on to score 30 points, fueling the Cannoneers’ 24-8 fourth quarter run and ending OFA’s 18-game winning streak.

“They had been laying off me a lot in the game so I hit some jumpers,” said McLeod, a 6-foot-3, Division I prospect. “Then with the help of my teammates I was able to find some space.”

Watervliet coach Orlando DiBacco felt the same type of frustration before his team put together a dominant fourth quarter.

“OFA was very difficult to defend and for Kinnon LaRose to shoot the way he did was just amazing for a sophomore,” DiBacco said.

Jordan Gleason, the other half of 16-8 Watervliet’s Division I prospect backcourt, tallied 17 points with eight in the third quarter while Gilmore netted four threes in a 20-point effort where he contributed 10 to a 23-13 first quarter lead.

McLeod and Gleason also combined for 12 and 10 rebounds.

ARGYLE 77, MADRID-WADDINGTON 59

Madrid-Waddington’s season came to a close at Hudson Falls High School as Section 2 champion Argyle earned their first trip back to the Class D final four since 1991 with a win over the Section 10 champion Yellow Jackets in Hudson Falls.

“We battled back,” said Madrid-Waddington coach Aaron Jones after his team fell behind 31-25 at halftime. “We got down 12 early in the first half, cut it to eight and then three with five minutes left in the game at 50-47. But Argyle just wore us down. They hit a couple of threes and got some baskets in transition.’

Joey Lufkin scored 24 points and passed out five assists for the Scots (22-0), who outscored the Jackets 27-12 in the fourth quarter. Del Pryce scored 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds.

Greg Thompson generated 15 for the Yellow Jackets (17-8). Maurice Rease tallied 14 points.

Johnson Newspapers sportswriter Steven Heaton contributed to this report.



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