HOOSICK, N.Y. -- When the going got tough on Friday night between the Hoosick Falls and Hoosic Valley girls basketball teams, the more experienced Indians got going.
In the second quarter with Hoosic Valley up by a single point, the Indians used a 12-2 run in the final five minutes of the half en route to a 50-35 win at Hoosick Falls.
"Hoosick Falls is a great basketball team, but we had a great shooting night tonight and made key baskets when we needed," said Hoosic Valley coach Walter Dorman.
The teams played basically even in the first eight minutes, as post players Kelly Pine (a team-high 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Panthers) and Alyssa Paul (15 points) went head-to-head, each trading baskets throughout the quarter. In the second, Paul hit from the outside, but Taylor Hayes matched and a long jumper from Olivia Schneider pulled the Panthers to 18-17 with 4:56 left in the half.
But the Valley switched gears to a smaller lineup, outrunning the pressing Panthers. Lauren Madigan hit four straight free throws, then scored on the old-fashioned three-point play to extend the lead to seven. Carsen Williams slowed the run with a bucket, but then Laura McGreevey hit from the corner to make it a 29-19 game.
"We kept switching players, went small, so we were quicker then them," Dorman said. "My bigs were quicker, we got up and down the court, which is why I went small [again] in the second half."
"We knew they would be tough all game, they took the wind out of our sails a little bit," said Hoosick Falls senior Carsen Williams. "We needed to go on a run, but we were frustrated and Rachel [Pine] fouled out."
Pine was in foul trouble for a good chunk of the night, forced to sit in the second quarter with two fouls.
"Rachel picked up her second foul, so I took her out," said Hoosick Falls coach Eamonn DeGraaf. "When she's in and working hard, she's a huge contributer, it hurts to lose her."
In the third quarter, the Panthers clamped down on the defensive end, allowing only two field goals in the frame. But Hoosick Falls couldn't take full advantage, only scoring seven points.
"Our forwards did a nice job in the third, sagged off at the elbow and helping the post defender," DeGraaf said.
In the fourth, Valley extended the lead hitting free throws. Foul shooting was a difference in the game as well, with Hoosic Valley hitting 14-of-20 from the line, while Hoosick Falls was 7-of-18.
"We work on foul shooting every practice," DeGraaf said. "We try to [put] pressure on them, but it's hard to put game pressure on in practice. They made frree throws, we didn't."
With Hoosick Falls' loss, the top of the Wasaren League is a free-for-all for the runner-up spot. Tamarac leads, but Greenwich, Valley and Falls are all tied for second.
"It's a grind, a good basketball team grinds in the half court and that wins championships," Dorman said. "Hoosick Falls taught us how to grind tonight. All the girls know their role, embrace it, if it's to get the shooters the ball, do that. If their role is to play defense, they do that."
Williams said the loss will be motivation heading into sectionals next month.
"It ticked us off because we lost, but we know we can beat them, we can hang with them, we're athletic as them," Williams said. "We'll be more confident going into sectionals and we won't be intimidated."