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<B>Hoosick Falls freshman Kelly Pine tries to drive the lane against a Glens Falls defender on Monday. Pine scored 14 to lead the Panthers in a 57-40 loss. (Adam Samrov)</B>


Sports Editor

HOOSICK, N.Y. -- As the Hoosick Falls Central School girls basketball team opened its season against Glens Falls on Monday night, the Panthers were dealing with some first-game jitters.

Unfortunately for Hoosick Falls, Glens Falls senior Skyler Girard was in midseason form.

Girard scored 11 points in the first quarter on her way to 28 for the game as the Indians beat Hoosick Falls, 57-40.

"She’s been playing this game way too long to have jitters," said Glens Falls coach Mark Girard. "We’re going to rely on her all year long, as she goes, we go. It’s that simple."

In the first quarter, the Indians rushed out to a 9-1 lead, forcing Hoosick Falls coach Eamonn DeGraaf to call a timeout to calm his troops. They scored the next five on baskets by Megan Flynn and Carsen Williams to pull within three, but Girard had open looks from the outside at the end of the period that she knocked home, turning a 9-6 advantage into a 17-6 one.

"We knew going in she’s a good player, she was last year against us," DeGraaf said. "She had open looks early, two or three right in a row. It’s a lack of not recognizing whose out there."

Glens Falls came out fast in the second quarter as well, going on an 11-0 run to extend the lead with 4:05 left in the half. The run was capped off by freshman Lucy Tougas stealing a pass and finding Girard for the bucket and the foul to make it 30-10.

Tougas added 10 points and nine rebounds in the victory.

"It’s good that we started fast, I had a lot of open shots, my teammates found me and they got open as well," Skyler Girard said. "I couldn’t have scored that many without them."

Hoosick made a run of its own in the final 2:35, as Kelly Pine hit two in a row down low and Olivia Schneider and Ashley St. Onge knocked down shots to pull to 32-19 at the half. Carsen Williams was the second-leading scorer with 9 points.

"We were down 20 two different times, then [I’d look up and] only be down 13 or 12. You never know how the breaks will go," DeGraaf said. "Basketball is a game of runs, sometimes it goes your way, sometimes it doesn’t."

Both teams slowed out of halftime, as the Indians held Hoosick to two points in the third and double the lead to 42-21. But in the fourth, with Pine -- who was Hoosick’s leading scorer with 14 -- scoring on two 3-point plays on back to back possessions to show some life.

"I didn’t realize she had 14," DeGraaf said. "She works hard inside, I’d like to see her go up harder and 14 could be 20 or more."

The early lead was too much for the Panthers to overcome, however, as Girard hit on all seven of her free throws in the fourth quarter to seal it.

"That’s why we schedule them, we think they’ll be a good Wasaren [League] team, it was a good first game under our belt," Mark Girard said.