CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. >> Opponents facing the Cambridge Central School girls basketball team know they will have to contend with the Mooney sisters.
In the championship of the inaugural Cambridge Holiday Tournament, Schuylerville threw everything they had at the senior Olivia and sophomore Helen, but nothing worked as the pair combined for 26 points in a 47-33 victory.
"Having those two inside gives us more opportunities, they're so athletic, they get us those opportunities," said Cambridge coach Tony Bochette. "Even without taking a shot, they pass it to other teammates and that works for us."
The sisters were a terror on the boards as well, as Olivia had 19 and Helen had 18, many of those offensive, to keep possessions alive.
The tide turned late in the third quarter with Cambridge in the lead. Schuylerville used the deep ball to stay in the game and trailed only 38-30 heading into the fourth.
In the final frame, the Indians clamped down on defense, allowing only one field goal and a single free throw.
"We've been doing pretty well at the end of games, we have switched defenses and we went zone today, something we haven't done since the first game," Bochette said. "There's a great mentality with these girls, they want to compete and be as good as they can be and they're willing to go the extra mile to shut it down."
Early on, the Mooneys made their presence felt, scoring all 15 of Cambridge's points in the quarter — 10 for Helen and five for Olivia — as they took a 15-8 lead into the second quarter.
Carlee Irish hit a pair of threes — including one that banked high off the backboard and in from the top of the key — to keep Schuylerville close. They started to slow down the Mooney sisters, but others for the Indians stepped up, including Grace Snyder, who scored her four points in the second quarter.
"It's nice to be able to change paces, we have a good group of athletes, who are starting to become basketball players," Bochette said. "They're playing fast, but not in a hurry and that's a big change from last year."
Cambridge had a nine-point lead at the half, at 28-19.
Irish had 13 points to lead Schuylerville, while Kaitlyn Congdon and Emily Vallee each had 10 points for the Horses.
In the third quarter, junior Lynn Brownell started to make headway, scoring four of her eight points as Schuylerville went to a press on defense to cause some turnovers. The point guard did a nice job of breaking the press, getting the ball upcourt for some easy layup chances.
"It's fun to show what we can do, we had some great opponents and it all fell together over the two days," Helen Mooney said. "We can be a fast team when we put our mind to it, which is helpful because we can speed up the game."
The Indians are 8-2, the team's best record through 10 games in a number of seasons.
"Things are clicking right now and the confidence level is high," Bochette said.
The all-tournament team included Helen Mooney and Lila Nolan from Cambridge, Jessica Vidal from Salem, Kaitlyn Congdon and Emily Vallee from Schuylerville and Isabella Toro from New Lebanon.