Friday, March 19, 2010

Averill Park girls move on to NYS Class A title game

Averill Park senior Katie Duma takes a pounding from a Greece-Arcadia defender during Friday's New York State Class A semifinal, but Duma is just fine with that as the Warriors lived to play another day. Averill Park won, 46-33 and will face Lakeland in the Class A title game Saturday at 7 p.m. at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy. (All Averill Park photos by Tom Killips - The Record).

Katie Duma finished with 16 points, making 10 free throws, leading Averill Park to a 46-33 victory over Greece-Arcadia Friday afternoon at Hudson Valley Community College in a New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class A semifinal.

Section II hasn't had a girls basketball champion since Catholic Central (Class A) and Voorheesville (Class C) won titles at the end of the 2001-02 season.

"We didn't come all this way to come in second place tomorrow," Averill Park head coach Sean Organ said. "Lakeland is a great team. This time of year they're all good."

Averill Park's Molly Streb makes a leaping shot as three Greece-Arcadia defenders look on during Friday's game.

Averill Park senior Katie Duma bounds through the lane as the Averill Park cheering section - the Gold Mine - looks on in the background.

The Averill Park fans, who call themselves the Gold Miners, were certainly a factor in Friday's game. Averill Park High School is fewer than 10 miles away from the site of the championships at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy.

Lauren Nunziato also stepped up in the second half, sinking a three-point goal in the fourth quarter that stemmed an Arcadia rally and seemed to seal the deal for Averill Park.

"She's done it all season long," Organ said. "She had her head down a little bit but going into the locker room in the second half we told her keep shooting you've done a great job all season long and if you get your look don't hesitate."

Averill Park sophomore forward Brooke O'Shea is mobbed by a trio of Greece-Arcadia defenders during Friday's game.

Brooke O'Shea and senior Katie Hawes drew big-time defensive assignments on Arcadia's Jessica Sextion and Shy Britton, 6-footers who combined to average 31.3 points and nearly 20 rebounds during the season.

Sexton was limited to five points - all from the free throw line - and Britton scored just seven in Friday's game.

Mission accomplished for O'Shea and Hawes.

Averill Park senior point guard Brittany O'Shea leaps for a shot as Greece-Arcadia's Jessica Sexton attempts to make a block.

Brittany O'Shea later provided one of the most comical moments I've ever seen at a basketball game.

Apparently with blood on her shorts late in the fourth quarter and with Averill Park holding a significant lead, officials and the Averill Park coaching staff motioned her to the bench to take a seat.

O'Shea wasn't having any of it.

Her teammate, Amanda Fitzgerald, quickly tore off her own shorts and grabbed a pair of warmup pants. The gym, by the way, was full of at least 2,000 people. O'Shea slipped Fitzgerald's shorts over her own and continued to play.

Averill Park's Amanda Fitzgerald (5) is wearing her warmup pants after lending her shorts to teammate Brittany O'Shea as the Lady Warriors celebrate a NYS Class A semifinal victory over Greece-Arcadia.

The Blue Girl Group also dropped by to cheer on the Warriors as part of the Gold Mine.

Ryan Kircher covered this game for us and also provided running commentary in today's live chat. Thanks very much, Ryan. Look for his story in Saturday's edition of The Record.

Saturday schedule
New York State semifinal games at HVCC
Class D
John A. Coleman vs. Clymer, 9 a.m.
Harrisville vs. Davenport, 10:45 a.m.
Class C
Marion vs. North Salem, 12:30 p.m.
Maple Hill vs. Tioga, 2:15 p.m.
New York State championship games at HVCC
Class B
Irvington vs. Oneonta, 4 p.m.
Class A
Averill Park vs. Lakeland, 7 p.m.
Class AA
Shenendehowa vs. Sachem East, 8:45 p.m.


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