Saturday, March 6, 2010

Maple Hill knocks off Hoosic Valley; Friday night roundup from HVCC

Members of the Maple Hill High School girls basketball team celebrate after winning the 2009-10 Section II Class CC title. (Photo by Tom Killips - The Record).

Aretha Franklin's hit single 'Respect' blared from the public address system prior to the fourth quarter of Friday's Section II Class CC girls basketball championship game between Maple Hill and Hoosic Valley.

In a rematch of last season's Section II Class CC-C playoff, that was exactly what Maple Hill earned in the final four minutes of the game.

Maple Hill defeated the four-time defending Section II champions by giving them a taste of their own medicine, using a pressing man-to-man defense to limit the Indians to one field goal in the final 5:13 of the game, capping it off with a 41-35 victory in front of a spirited crowd at Hudson Valley Community College.

Maple Hill, (21-0), the No. 1 ranked team in the state, still felt like it had something to prove until it could beat Hoosic Valley, which had been the premiere small-school girls basketball program in Section II for the past four years.

Maple Hill's junior center Katie Roth battles against Hoosic Valley's Jessica Lanoue during Friday's game at Hudson Valley Community College. Roth, the Class CC tournament MVP, scored 21 points and snared 143 rebounds in Friday's game.

Roth was dominant at times, but the Indians hung two or three defenders over her all night. Kristen DerGurahian made the most of her opportunities outside, sinking a trio of three-point shots en route to nine total points. Her trey with 4:20 remaining put the Wildcats ahead by two, which was a lead they never relinquished.

Maple Hill's Erin Mosher looks to make a move around Hoosic Valley's Whiteny Kugler during Friday's game. Mosher made a key steal and layup late in the game to help seal the deal for the Wildcats.

Next up for Maple Hill is Class C champion Greenwich, the 2009-10 Wasaren League regular season champion. The Witches can score tons of points and sophomore guard Dani DeGregory will be hard to stop.

Do the Wildcats try to use a 2-3 zone and play aggressive on the perimeter, letting Roth clean up the mess if DeGregory drives? Or do they just stick with the man-to-man and hope Jessica Dailey or Kristen DerGurahian plays the game of their life defensively?

Either way, the Class CC/C playoff - set for 6 p.m. Monday at Adirondack Community College in Queensbury - will be an interesting game.

2010 Section II Class CC All-Tournament Team:
J'Vanay Santos, Jr., Albany Academy for Girls
Monica Compton, Soph., Schenectady Christian
Rachel Moore, Soph., Hoosic Valley
Whitney Kugler, Soph., Hoosic Valley
Anna Racz, Sr., Maple Hill
MVP - Katie Roth, Jr., Maple Hill

2010 Section II Class C All-Tournament Team:
Sara Anderson, Sr., Lake George
Allison Palludi, Sr., Duanesburg
Marian Bates, Jr., Berne-Knox-Westerlo
Maddy Fitzgerald, Sr., Greenwich
Emily Eddy, Sr., Greenwich
MVP - Dani DeGregory, Soph., Greenwich

For the full story on these games, check out Saturday's editions of The Record and The Saratogian. I also took some video and will try to edit that up as soon as I can.

Friday also featured a pair of Class B semifinals, and Watervliet and Mechanicville will continue their bitter rivalry in the title game Monday.

Watervliet turned away No. 13 Ravena and Mechanicville topped No. 7 Hudson Falls as the Cinderella seeds were weeded out of the postseason.

"It is what it is. Colonial Council basketball," said Watervliet head coach Gordie Johnson. "Physical. Aggressive. Whoever makes the least amount of mistakes wins. I guess tonight that was us, in the first half, at least."

For more on these games, see Saturday's editions of The Record and The Saratogian.

If you can't make it to the girls title games Saturday, tune in here as I will be bringing you updates. Since I won't have to file a story right away, I will try to keep the updates coming as quick as possible.

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