Syracuse – The 7th seeded NY Mills Lady Marauders are headed to the Section III, Class “D” Basketball Tournament Championship, after a hard fought 39-31 victory over a stubborn Watertown IHC Lady Cavaliers team.
When the brackets were announced, not many outside NY Mills or Watertown gave the Lady Marauders, or the 11th seeded Lady Cavaliers much of a chance to reach today’s semifinal. After each team gained big road upsets, the two clubs found themselves playing for a chance at a Section III Championship. For New York Mills, its the 4th time since 2010 that the girls in orange and blue have made at least the semifinal round.
This afternoon, after seeing top seeded Madison get blown out by Copenhagen 66-34, Mills and IHC hit the court in what would become a very low scoring, physical battle.
The physical play was intense at times and sloppy at times, especially in the first half. It was evident that IHC’s plan was to try to prevent Albright from any dribble penetration from the get go.
Albright, a Keuka College commit, was not about to let that happen. The senior, playing her 5th varsity season, has a basketball pedigree built for games just like this one. Her Father, Scott and Brother, Jeffrey, both won New York State Championships during their playing days at NY Mills and her Mother, Candace, was a standout player in her own right.
With Mills trailing 27-23, with time winding down in the 3rd quarter, Albright delivered a 3 pointer with under a minute remaining that would later be the trigger that pushed momentum directly into the Marauders favor. Mills finished the 3rd quarter on a 5-0 run to take a 28-27 lead into the 4th quarter.
New York Mills would not relinquish the lead again and went on to knock off the scrappy Lady Cavaliers by a score of 39-31.
After the game, Cassidy Albright explained what was going on behind the scenes today “We made a promise to each other in the locker room before the game that we weren’t going to lose this game, so we knew entering the fourth quarter that we had start playing our game. That meant we had to start playing tougher defense. I knew that I had to start scoring more so when I took that three-point shot and it went in that it would help my teammates with their confidence. The seniors did not want to lose this game”.
Albright led all scorers, pouring in 24 of her team’s 39 points on the day. Megan Crist was next best with 5 points for New York Mills, which improved to (16-7) on the season.
Watertown IHC was paced by Abigail Piddock, who tallied 14 points for the Lady Cavaliers, which ended their season at (10-12).
New York Mills 39
Cassidy Albright 10-2-2 24, Abbey Copperwheat 2-0-0 4, Megan Crist 1-3-0 5, Shana Lavier 0-1-0 1, Cailtyn Mackay 0-3-0 3, Makenzie Stevens 1-0-0 2, Abbey Fitzgerald 0-0-0 0, Amanda Fitzgerald 0-0-0 0, Michaela Marrero 0-0-0 0.
Abigail Piddock 4-6-0 14, Julia O’Brien 3-0-1 7, Allison McElheran 2-0-2, Amanda McElheran 0-0-0 0, Macee Fay 2-1-1 6.