HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. >> In their Section II, Class B first round matchup on Wednesday night, the Hoosick Falls Central School girls basketball team showed why they are considered one of the best teams in the state.
The No.1 ranked Panthers dominated their No.16 seed Broadalbin-Perth with a 61-22 blowout victory, advancing to the quarterfinals of the Class B tournament.
Right from the start, the Panthers imposed their will on the Patriots.
Hoosick Falls scored the first six points to start the game and stretched it to 17-4 at the end of the first quarter, thanks to the play of their point guard Lizza Ryan, who scored all eight of her points in the first quarter to get the Panthers offense going.
In the second quarter, Hoosick Falls made their biggest impact of the night.
It all started when Eliza Whitman got going from three-point range. The sophomore knocked down three three-pointers in the first half and helped the Panthers get out to a commanding 36-4 lead.
Hoosick Falls held Broadalbin-Perth to zero points in the second quarter, going on a 32-0 run to end the first half, dating back to the final minutes of the first quarter to take a 40-4 lead going into halftime.
"We had a lot girls step up and make big shots for us tonight," said Hoosick Falls coach Eamonn DeGraaf. "Eliza was a big one for us. Ally Burdick knocked down a couple key shots for us and Lizza got us going in the first quarter, so a lot of girls contributed to us getting having a great first half."
The Panther were overall on fire from three-point range in the first half. Hoosick Falls knocked down a total of five 3's in the first half and seven from downtown for the entire game.
Not going unnoticed in the second quarter as well was how well the Panthers played on defense.
"Our full-court press defense really effected them in the second quarter," DeGraaf said. "The girls ran the press to perfection in that whole second quarter and that helped us continue to get our offense going as well."
In the second half, the Panthers went back to their bread and butter to help them seal the deal. That game plan was going down low in the paint to their captain Megan Flynn.
The senior continued to dominate the paint, scoring six points in the third quarter to give Hoosick Falls a 53-10 lead going into the fourth quarter.
"I was able to get in great position on the block and my teammates gave me some great passes that I was able to get good shots off of," Flynn said. "I was able to get a lot of offensive rebounds to in the game that help me get some good looks at the basket and the fact we were shooting well from the outside all night, really helped open up something for me in the paint as well."
Flynn had a game-high 17 points and 10 rebounds on the night for the Panthers, giving her a double-double for the game.
With a 43-point lead going into the fourth quarter, the Panthers put everything on cruise control in the fourth quarter and go on to their 19th win against two losses.
Whitman finished in double figures on the night with 13 points, while Ally Burdick also finished in double figures, scoring 10 points, knocking down two 3-pointers.
"This was a great start to sectional play for us," DeGraaf said. "We did a great job forcing turnovers and shot the ball well all night. I think we are getting better and better as the year goes on and the girls continue to want to climb the latter even more, which is why we have had such a great season so far."
The Panthers improve to 19-2 on the season and will host Stillwater in the quarterfinals on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.