Defense leads Panthers into quarterfinal
The Panthers held No. 10 Middleburgh to eight points in the first half and finished off a 65-48 win to advance.
"We wanted to come out in man-to-man and play hard and make them earn their points," said Hoosick Falls coach Ken Facin. "We wanted them to start farther away from the basket and we did a great job of not giving them second chance opportunities."
The Knights also had little answer for Logan Thayne, who ended up with 32 points and 17 rebounds on the night. It was the third 30-point game of the year for Thayne, who reached 1,000 points earlier this season. She scored 14 points in the first half and 18 more in the second.
"We went in knowing they only had one big that plays a lot, so I knew it would be an inside game," Thayne said. "I took over inside and helped us get the win."
The Panthers controlled from the opening tip, scoring the first eight in a row — half from Thayne and half from Lillian Hickey — before Middleburgh got on the board aout halfway through the first quarter. A basket at the first quarter horn from Sky Haynes gave Hoosick a 17-5 lead.
It was part of an 18-0 run that saw Middleburgh start shooting nearly all its shots from the outside to get some traction.
In the quarter, Middleburgh only scored three points, to 14 for the Panthers as Hoosick took a 31-8 lead to the break.
"We did a lot of work on defense, going in with a good attitude," Thayne said. "Lillian did a great job on their top player."
Middleburgh was a different team coming out of the locker room. They surpassed their entire first half total points in the first three minutes of the third quarter, a 9-2 run that got Facin to call a timeout to regroup.
"We talked about getting the focus back with a big lead," Facin said. "We just had to get back on it."
In the fourth, the Knights cut the deficit as low as 12 at 51-39 after a three from Megan Brown with 5:35 left, but an 8-0 run from the Panthers, including a three-pointer from Grace Wysocki and baskets from Sophie Estes and Olivia Brownell put thoughts of a comeback to rest.
"They start keying in on me once I score a couple of baskets, so I know my teammates are open and it's easy to dish it to them. They did a great job of finishing tonight," Thayne said.
Kelsey Terrell led Middleburgh with 20 points, 19 in the second half. Hallie Gasner added 11.
For the Panthers, balance was the word of the day, as five players had at least six points, including Hickey with seven, Estes with six, Haynes with six, Brownell with six and Wysocki with six.
"We did a good job of distributing the basketball, finding the open player," Facin said. "That's really powerful for us, we're dynamic when we can do that."
Hoosick Falls now moves on to face Hoosic Valley on Wednesday in Schaghticoke. When they faced off earlier this season, Valley won by 11 and Thayne was held to 17 points, seven below her average.
"After the first time, they beat us, we definitely wanted to play them again," Thayne said. "We know what we need to work on and it'll be a great game."
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