Panthers hold on to advance to Class B final
SAND LAKE, N.Y. >> For the first two playoff games, the Hoosick Falls girls basketball team has had relatively easy wins against Broadalbin-Perth and Stillwater.
There wasn't anything easy about Wednesday's semifinal matchup against No. 4 Voorheesville, but the Panthers finished the job and punched their ticket to the Section II, Class B final with a 54-45 victory over the Blackbirds at Averill Park.
Hoosick Falls' big two — senior Megan Flynn and junior Kelly Pine combined for 41 points — nearly outscoring the entire Blackbird roster on their own.
The Panthers took a seven-point advantage to the fourth quarter, 39-32, and manage to have an answer for every Blackbird call. A layup by Ally Burdick with 5:12 to go make it 44-37, but a layup from Rebecca Clair pulled Voorheesville to 44-40 with 4:10 to go. A minute later Stephanie Keenan fouled out and Flynn hit four free throws on back-to-back possessions to lengthen the lead to eight at 48-40 with three minutes to go.
Flynn, who led the way for the Panthers with 23 points total, made 9-of-11 from the line on the night.
Rachel Blow hit a three with 51.8 seconds to go to make it 50-45, but Pine iced the game with five of six from the stripe in the final 60 seconds.
Pine added 18, including 10-of-16 from the line overall.
"I just try to block everything out and focus on the basket," said Pine after the game. "We work on it in practice."
The second quarter changed everything for the Panthers. Trailing 8-7 after a sloppy first quarter for both teams, the Panthers went on 14-0 run to start the frame and take a 21-8 lead before the Blackbirds finally hit a basket at the 3:40 mark before halftime. Flynn and Pine dominated in the paint for the entire second quarter, helping the Panthers to a 30-14 lead at the break.
"We want the ball in our hands and be confident with it, we're looking for each other," Pine said.
Voorheesville had as successful a third, outscoring Hoosick 18-9 in the period to pull within 39-32 into the final eight minutes.
"You have to be careful and get out to their shooters," Pine said.
Voorheesville was led by Blow's 12 and Clair's 11.
The top seeded Panthers will go to Hudson Valley Community College, where they'll face No. 2 Glens Falls, 39-28 winners over Hoosic Valley in the early game at Averill Park. The game on Saturday will be at 12:45 p.m.
For more on this game, go to www.benningtonbanner.com
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