ORISKANY – Run and gun.
That’s the style Frankfort-Schuyler’s girls basketball team prefers. It makes perfect sense when you have a potent guard tandem like Danielle Migliore and Danielle Caivana.
Migliore, Section III’s leading scorer, poured in 29 points and Caivana added 25 to earn the tournament’s Most Valuable Player honors, as the Maroon Knights outlasted New York Mills 73-63 Wednesday night to win the Oriskany Sports Boosters Holiday Tournament.
“We like to push the ball up the floor and get easy baskets,” Caivana said. “That’s how we play.”
That frenetic pace set by both teams made for an exciting, playground-like game filled with wild shots and plenty of fouls as Migliore and several New York Mills players battled foul trouble and were forced to sit for long periods of the game.
“It was chaos out there,” Frankfort head coach Jeff Adasek said with a smile. “We actually do a drill called ‘chaos’ and I’m glad we do it, because that’s what it was like tonight.”
Cassidy Albright, who went over the 1,000-point mark in Tuesday’s semifinal win over Oriskany, led the Marauders with 17 points, while Megan Crist scored 14. Both were named to the All-Tournament team.
“All of our games are pretty wild like that,” said Crist, who amazingly drew four charging calls defensively. “Our plan was to get it inside and to shut down the Danielles. We did a decent job and this will prepare us for playing teams like Poland. The harder the competition, the better … because it gets us ready for sectionals.”
After playing to an 18-18 tie after the first quarter, the Maroon Knights (7-1) went on a 16-4 run to begin the second quarter to build a lead they would never relinquish. Caivana banked in a three-pointer to begin that stretch and hit another to give Frankfort-Schuyler a 31-22 lead with 5:45 remaining in the half. Migliore added a conventional three-point play to extend the lead to 12, but soon after charged into Crist for her third foul of the game and was forced to the bench for the remainder of the half.
The Marauders (5-4) took advantage of Migliore’s absence and closed the half on an 8-2 run as Abbey Fitzgerald put in two buckets to go along with field goals by Abbey Copperwheat and Caitlyn Mackay.
Frankfort-Schuyler came out blazing and looking to put the game away early in the third quarter. After Copperwheat knocked in two of her 12 points with a baseline jumper to narrow the lead to four, the Maroon Knights went on a 9-0 run as Migliore, a Division I recruit heading to St. Bonaventure University, scored five quick points, then Caivana and Billie Rivenburgh knocked in shots to push the lead to 45-32 with 3:52 remaining in the third. The teams traded baskets throughout the rest of the quarter and Frankfort held a 56-42 advantage headed into the fourth.
In a frenzied fourth, Frankfort’s lead grew to as much as 18 points at 67-49, but the Marauders, despite losing Crist to fouls with 5:52 remaining, kept fighting, but could get no closer than nine points. As Caivana went cold from the field, and Migliore looked to become more of a distributor, the Maroon Knights got a key contribution from their center, as Rivenburgh scored eight of her 12 points to keep the lead at a comfortable margin.
“One of the keys so far this season is when teams try to take them (Migliore and Caivana) out of the game, Billie been big for us,” Adasek said. I think we’ve scored more as a team when teams go to triangle-and-two or box-and-one, because that leaves room in the middle for Billie.”
Migliore, who is closing in on 1,600 career points, knows getting points from others will be critical if the Maroon Knights hope to make a sectional run and challenge defending state champion Cooperstown for the CSC Division II championship. The Maroon Knights and Hawkeyes are both unbeaten in the division as the teams get ready to collide next Thursday in Cooperstown.
“It’s always good to win,” Migliore said. “It’s good to have other girls step up when I was taken out with fouls. I was in foul trouble and Billie (Rivenburgh), Maria (DiNigro) and, of course, Danielle, really made some key shots. There’s so much focus on me and Danielle, it really takes the pressure off when other girls can score.”
Caivana, who made four 3-pointers in the game, was a bit shocked to be named Tournament MVP, and gave much of the credit to her backcourt mate.
“I was surprised to win because ‘D’ (Migliore) usually wins everything because she’s such a great player,” Caivana said. “She helps with everything. Either by scoring, defense, rebounding or passing. She’s a great leader and I love playing with her.”
Amanda Fitzgerald drilled three 3-pointers and Mackay scored seven points and was tough on the boards for the Marauders, who host Adirondack at 1:30 Saturday.
In the consolation game, Tess Maxam scored 21 points to lead Clinton to a 57-39 victory over Oriskany. Morgan Wolanin led Oriskany with 17 points. Maxam and Oriskany’s Keely Wroblewski were named to the All-Tournament Team.
Frankfort-Schuyler 73, New York Mills 63
Frankfort-Schuyler 18 18 20 17—73
New York Mills 18 12 12 21—63
Frankfort-Schuyler (7-1): Danielle Migliore 11-3-29, Danielle Caivana 10-1-25, Billie Rivenburgh 6-1-13, Maria DiNigro 1-0-2, Francesca DeRollo 1-0-2, Marsala Bono 1-0-2. Totals: 30-5-73.
3-Pointers: Migliore 4, Caivana 4.
New York Mills (5-4): Cassidy Albright 6-5-17, Megan Crist 6-2-14, Abbey Copperwheat 6-0-12, Amanda Fitzgerald 3-0-9, Caitlyn Mackay 3-1-7, Abbey Fitzgerald 2-0-4. Totals: 26-8-63.
3-Pointers: Amanda Fitzgerald 3.