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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, December 15, 2011

Down by 10 at the half, Lady Birds scratch back to win

ROTTERDAM –– It’s better to be late than to never have arrived. Staring adversity in the face, Voorheesville kicked itself into gear and escaped with victory in the final minutes of Tuesday’s game at Schalmont.

Down by seven points, the Voorheesville girls’ basketball team started the fourth quarter with a turnover. It was yet another mistake in an evening filled with plenty, but something clicked after that. The Birds tightened up its defense, converted shots, and rejoiced in a 40-to-37 win.

Voorheesville played seven minutes of flawless ball, closing out the Sabres with a 14-to-4 run. Senior Sarah Madden scored eight of her 12 points in those seven minutes. She made a three-pointer that tied the game at 35 to 35 and converted on a nifty spin-and-fade move off the glass that gave the Birds the lead for good.

“We started to get on a roll,” said Madden, who missed three straight three-pointers before burying her fourth attempt to tie the game. “Coach says that I never miss, so I kept trying.”

Voorheesville relies on its fast break, but Schalmont’s quick defense in the first half caused the Birds to over-dribble. The Sabres had a 26-to-16 lead at halftime after making shots from all over the court. The Blackbirds were in need of an adjustment.

“We could have played better, but you can’t take anything away from Schalmont,” said Voorheesville Head Coach Bob Baron. “They played great.”

Madden thought that the Birds forgot about the importance of its fast-break offense in the first half. “We need our fast break,” she said. “We get into close games when we don’t have it going.”

As the defending Class C champions and state semifinalists, Voorheesville showed its experience in the second half on Tuesday. The team began chipping away, little by little. The momentum the Sabres had had in the first half now belonged to the Blackbirds.

“We fought back pretty hard,” said Jennifer Cillis, who scored nine points. “It wasn’t the prettiest of games, but we’re happy with the win. This was a good learning experience. We need to improve.”

Schalmont scored only 11 points in the second half. “I have a lot of respect for Voorheesville,” said Schalmont Head Coach Craig Sargent, “but this was a tough one to give up.”

Baron told The Enterprise that his team was lucky to be leaving with a win. Voorheesville pushed, and showed true character. 

“I have a resolute group,” said Baron. “They dig in, stay strong, and raise their game.”

— Jordan J. Michael

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