Panthers use height to beat ‘Birds


HOOSICK, N.Y. -- Coming in to Tuesday's opening round game of the Class B girls basketball tournament, No. 6 Hoosick Falls knew they had a mismatch in the post against No. 11 Voorheesville and tried to exploit it as much as possible.

Mission accomplished -- and the Panthers move on after a 51-36 win that wasn't that close.

"We did a good job limiting [Voorheesville] to one shot, that's the good thing about having forwards that can control the boards," said Hoosick Falls coach Eamonn DeGraaf.

Those forwards, sophomore Megan Flynn and freshman Kelly Pine, racked up the rebounds against the smaller Blackbirds, Flynn leading the way with 14 points and 14 boards and Pine adding 11 points and 11 rebounds.

The Panthers ended the first quarter with a 14-6 lead and extended the lead to 22-10 when Ashley St. Onge stole a pass and scored on a three-point play at the other end. On the play, Voorheesville's Stephany Keenan, one of the team's leading scorers, had to leave the game with a knee injury.

"That messed up our rotation," said Voorheesville (9-10) coach Robert Baron. She plays a lot of minutes and we really have no rotation without her. We had to play small ball and they have a big lineup and we couldn't match it."

Baskets from the Pine sisters and Carsen Williams (11 points) gave Hoosick Falls a 32-16 lead at the half. Most of Williams' baskets were floaters in the lane as the defense collapsed to the senior.

"Carsen is a four-year varsity player, we expect it," DeGraaf said. "She has to drive and find the open person and early on, she was [the open person]. It was a physical game, which allowed Flynn and Pine to get offensive rebounds and easy points."

The third quarter became a free throw battle, with the Panthers making 4-of-8 and Voorheesville making 6-of-10. There were only five baskets in the quarter as Hoosick Falls led by 17 heading into the final frame.

Overall, the teams combined to take 44 foul shots -- making 24 of them.

"We took a lot of foul shots, but didn't make a lot, so hopefully we can improve on that," DeGraaf said.

Individually, Kelly Pine made 7-of-10 from the line as the Panthers salted away the win in the fourth quarter.

"Kelly has improved this season in her foul shooting, it's good to have someone who can get low down and make her foul shots," DeGraaf said.

The Panthers will move on to play Saturday against the winner of today's 3-14 matchup between Johnstown and Greenville, likely to take place at Watervliet if the seeds hold.


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