Wednesday January 30, 2013

ADAM SAMROV

Sports Editor

CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. -- The Hoosick Falls Central School girls basketball team has used the press to perfection the past two games, allowing less than 20 points in each contest to Greenwich and Granville.

That suffocating pressure worked well again on Tuesday, as the Panthers held Cambridge under 30 in a 53-29 win.

"The girls are playing well on defense," said Hoosick Falls coach Eamonn DeGraaf. "The press has allowed us to hold teams down, but it [also] helps us in transition offensively. If we can get out in transition, we have some great athletes to finish."

Frankie Pearson led the way for the Panthers, scoring 12 points and grabbing four rebounds. Sophomore Rachel Pine also added 12 for Hoosick Falls.

Cambridge (2-11) hung around with the Panthers for the first half. The Indians took a 5-0 lead in the initial three minutes of the game, but Hoosick came roaring back to life and went on a 11-1 run to end the first quarter.

With 3 minutes, 30 seconds left in the half, Cambridge's Amanda Brand scored her only points of the game to make it 12-10. But Hoosick Falls pounced, scoring the final nine points of the half to take a 21-10 lead into intermission.

The big blow were back-to-back 3-pointers, one from Carsen Williams and one from Pearson.


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"We had them up 5-0," joked Cambridge coach Doug Luke. The big thing is they have athletes, you can see the difference in the quickness of their players and ours. It was just a matter of time before they beat us up in the press and they did."

The Panthers picked up 12 steals and generally hassled Cambridge into many more turnovers then that.

"We struggled breaking [the press], we don't move well to the ball at times, but [it was] better than last time," Luke said. "They speed up the game with the press and slow it down with the half-court offense. They force you make mistakes with the press and on offense .. they're deliberate and they look for the outside shot."

In the third, the Panthers matched their first-half total with 21 points in the quarter, including two treys by Pine, one by Pearson and one from Olivia Schneider, and cruised from there.

Hoosick improves to 10-4 on the year, the best record-wise for the Panthers since the 2007-08 season.

"It's good we have that record, in the past years, we've been down going into sectionals," said Pearson, who's averaging more than 15 points per game this season.

Cambridge was led by Jean Brownell's seven points and Sarah Cuddihy's six.