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Heuvelton girls advance to finals

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POTSDAM - As Heuvelton Central’s backup center, Kylie Piercey has made her presence felt known in the climax stage of the Section 10 Girls Basketball Tournament.

In the Class D Championship game against Hermon-DeKalb, on Friday, she went into the game late in the fourth quarter and made pivotal plays as the Lady Bulldogs prevailed in overtime.

In Tuesday night’s Section 10 Semi-Finals against Class B Champion Canton at SUNY Potsdam, Piercey drew a starting assignment when First Team All-NAC West selection Olivia St. Pierre was hindered by an allergic reaction to medication.

The 5’ 10” junior scored six straight points inside and sparked the Bulldogs to an 18-5 first quarter lead and then combined with guard Alexis Weidner to seal a 62-47 win after a furious Canton rally cut a 41-20 deficit to 43-36 with seven minutes to play and 47-42 with 4:11 to play.

“Kylie Piercey has really stepped up as a junior. She is taking the ball to the basket much tougher,” said Weidner (4 rebounds, 3 steals) who scored eight points in a balanced winning offense which was led by a steady 15-point effort from Maddie St. Pierre (8 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals), who went 5-7 from the free throw line and scored at least three points in all four quarters.

Piercey (8 rebounds, 3 assists) finished with 12 points along with Paige McCormick (10 rebounds), who scored six in the second quarter. Logan Tallman netted 10 points and went 5-7 from the foul line in the fourth quarter where HCS went 13-19 as a team. The strong rebounding of the Bulldogs also played a key role in the close-out as they controlled offensive rebounds on three free throw misses.

“We have an excellent team because it is not one or two players who lead the way. It always different people. We have a great group with a lot of people who play soccer, basketball and softball together all year long,” said Weidner who was honored a Second Team All-NAC West selection after the game.

McCormick joined Olivia St. Pierre as a first team all-star and in a presentation of awards by the NNY Officials Board. Maddie St. Pierre received a Nicole Fleury Memorial Sportsmanship Award and Logan Tallman received the Tony Murray Memorial Award.

The Bulldogs were a picture of diversity and unity as they controlled the boards and scored effectively from inside and the outside. Coach Rob Powers’ 20-2 team peaked its lead at 41-21 as Tallman, Maddie St. Pierre and McCormick all buried medium-range jumpers midway through the third quarter.

Canton, which was hindered by 8-24 free throw shooting, used it fullcourt press to cut the lead to 43-36 but Weidner answered with two pull-up jumpers. When the Bears closed to 47-42 with 4:11 left, Piercey converted a three-point play, grabbed an offensive rebound and blocked a shot as the Bulldogs opened a 51-42 lead, wrapped up their eighth straight win and gained their program’s first appearance in the Overall Section 10 Championship on Saturday at noon when they meet Class A Champion Malone.

Malone (18-1) advanced with a 46-21 victory over St. Lawrence Central.

Then the Bulldogs will draw a bye and host a NYS Class D quarter-final game at SUNY Canton next Saturday (March 9) at 11 a.m.

“This has really been a great season with a lot of big wins. We have beaten a bunch of very good Class D teams, we beat Class B Champion Canton twice, we beat Class C Champion St. Lawrence Central and now we get a chance to play the Class A Champion in Malone,” said Powers.

“We talked at halftime and we knew Coach Mike Meyers would have his team prepared to make a comeback. They did that but we held on with a lot of people making contributions. We have been working really hard on our perimeter defense and in the second half we did a great job denying them three-point attempts.”

Olivia St. Pierre netted two fourth-quarter free throws, Taylor Dawley added one and Macy Richardson netted a putback in the second quarter and added a blocked shot in the final minute.

The 16-5 Bears’ comeback was led by Tori Daley, who scored 13 of her game-high 17 points in the second half. Kali Frank scored seven of her 15 points with a pair of threes in the first half and netted six fourth-quarter points. Natalie DiSalvo and Emily Pinckney each scored five points, Rachel Huntley and Katie Clemmer each added two and Rachel Sanderson chipped in one.

“The free throw shooting was a real problem tonight and many of our misses came on the front ends on one-on-ones,” said coach Meyers. “And we didn’t rebound well, especially in the fourth quarter when they controlled their own missed free throws.”

Canton, which will travel to Troy High School to play the Section 2 champion on Tuesday at 6 p.m., was represented on the All-NAC Central Team by Frank, who made the First Team, and Daley, who made the Second Team.

MALONE ADVANCES

POTSDAM - The Huskies (19-1) opened to a 10-0 lead and broke open a 31-19 lead with a 15-2 fourth quarter advantage.

“With the awards and not playing in eight days we came out stale. Defensively, we did a good job. Offensively we were very patient and got some great looks in that 10-0 run but then we got very impatient offensively and didn’t run our stuff well. We tend to not use the clock to our advantage and that’s when teams start taking advantage of it,” said Malone coach Shelley Skelly.

The Larries (13-8) closed to 20-14 before Malone scored the final four of the half leading 24-14.

“We got down but we played hard. We had really nothing to lose tonight. We got to play again versus a team that is very good and our next game will be against a team like Malone,” said St. Lawrence Central coach Chad Gauthier of his Class C champions.

“We’ve got NAC or Seton Catholic next and both are good clubs.”

In the 15-2 run, six players scored for the Huskies keyed by four straight from Taylor Poirier when the score was 33-21.

Morgan Fountain, Meghan O’Connor, and Janelle Heden all scored eight points for the Huskies. Fountain added six rebounds, five steals and four assists. O’Connor collected five rebounds while Heden added two steals.

Rachel Lamica finished with seven points, seven rebounds, one steal and one assist while Poirier chipped in six points, six boards and two steals. Lindsey Thayer and Breanna Evans each scored eight points for the Larries. Thayer also posted six rebounds and two blocks while Evans added three boards.

“Heuvelton showed alot of quickness tonight against Canton. They get defensive boards and go. We’ve got to get back quickly on defense. And Heuvelton has good shooters. It’s going to be a tough one for us,” said Skelly.

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