Friday, March 19, 2010

'Vliet girls stung by Oneonta in NYS Class B semis

Watervliet High senior Julianne Keegan (right) and Emily Roden (left) react during the final seconds of Watervliet's New York State Class B semifinal loss to Oneonta Friday afternoon at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy. (All Watervliet photos by Mike McMahon - The Record).

Watervliet High senior Nae White attempts to strip the ball from Oneonta's Sienna Wisse during Friday's New York State Class B semifinal at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy. Oneonta won, 30-24.

It was your typical Watervliet High basketball game. Physical. Low-scoring.
It was also atypical of the Cannoneers' 2009-10 season. They lost.

Oneonta (20-3) held Watervliet (19-5) to 11 second half points in the 30-24 victory.

"This is the way we’ve played all year long - you are what you are," Watervliet coach Gordie Johnson said. "You can’t reinvent yourself at this point of the season. We rely on tenacious defense and timely shooting and we got half of that today."

The Arsenal City fans were out in force for Friday's 11:45 a.m. tip-off across the river in Troy.

Watervliet head coach Gordie Johnson makes sure he gets his two cents in during Friday's Class B semifinal game against Oneonta.

Oneonta ultimately won the battle of pressure defenses as junior guard Sienna Wisse scored a game-high 11 points - including 10 in the second half - to reach to the state championship game for the second consecutive season.

Oneonta's 2-3 zone frustrated the Watervliet offense all day long.

"Their zone (defense) was pretty tight, we couldn’t really get it going," Watervliet senior guard Tierney McGlynn said. "We were trying to get it in to the post and when you could get it to the post you had to take it back out. They played very good defense against us."

Watervliet senior forward Nae White leaps toward the rim during Friday's game against Oneonta. White will be one of four seniors moving on from Watervliet after the season.

Watervliet freshman point guard Ailayia Demand attempts to dribble around Oneonta's Val Ridgway during Friday's game. Demand and fellow freshman Lashona Tolliver have the Cannoneers thinking big about the future, even with the loss of four seniors.

"We missed a few key shots," Johnson said. "But that’s our typical type of a game - we play hard and hope for the best. I didn’t work for us today, but give Oneonta credit, they played great. … Good luck to them."

Demand and Tolliver will certainly be major players in the Colonial Council next season as sophomores, but also look for Katelyn Murray to emerge as a junior.

Murray is likely to assume McGlynn's role as the Cannoneers' top defensive guard, with the assignment of trying to stop the other team's leading scorer night-in and night-out.

"I just hope they don’t get too confident," McGlynn said of next season. "They need to realize they were really important players to this year’s team, but they have to keep working hard."

A big thanks to our Chris Fitz Gerald, who covered this game for us today while I was on my way up to Glens Falls for the Maple Hill boys game. Check out Chris' story in Saturday's edition of The Record.

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