TROY — A dominant first half paved the way for Jamesville-DeWitt as they picked up a victory and a bid to the girls’ varsity state semifinals on Saturday afternoon at Hudson Valley Community College, beating Averill Park by a final tally of 55-41.
It did not take long for Jamesville-DeWitt to get going Saturday as they grabbed an eight-point lead by the end of the first quarter.
Showing that it was all Red Rams, they went on a 9-1 run to open the second, extending their lead out to 24-8, and by halftime they had made it 34-12, a near insurmountable deficit for Averill Park to overcome. Gabby Stickle was a huge part of the second quarter for Jamesville-DeWitt as she scored 11 points and hit a trio of three-pointers that helped them gain their big advantage. Momo LaClair also contributed five points in the second.
“The other kids, we know Meg (Hair) is going to be there, we know Jamie (Boeheim) is going to be there, but the other kids came in and were aggressive offensively and making shots, which definitely helped us,” Jamesville-DeWitt coach Rob Siechen said.
Hair also had a strong first half as she poured in 10 before the break, including a three that beat the buzzer to end the first quarter. She finished with a team-high 16 points.
In the second half, Averill Park had a little bit of life as they cut it to 17 by the end of the third quarter and got it as low as a 14-point deficit during the fourth courtesy of the strong play of Stephanie Jankovic who scored all 17 of her points in the second half and accounted for well over half of her team’s 29 points in the second half. However, the deficit that they found themselves in early on proved to be too big of a mountain to climb.
“I’m a little disappointed in the way that we played in the second quarter, felt like the moment kind of overcame us a little bit,” Averill Park coach Sean Organ said.
This game now marks the fifth year in a row that these two programs have faced each other during the state tournament, and Jamesville-DeWitt has won each of the five times.
Organ said of the rival team at the state level, “They’re just a well-coached group, and they really work well together, and they savor these big games and these big moments.”
With the victory, Jamesville-DeWitt will now advance to the state semifinals. In that game, they will take on Binghamton Seton Catholic out of Section IX. The game will be played at Hudson Valley Community College on Friday, March 16 and tipoff is set for 6:15 p.m.