PLATTSBURGH — Saranac’s Tori Trim opened Friday’s Section VII Class B girls’ basketball championship game by sinking a 3-pointer.
Summer Gillespie followed with another one.
And the Chiefs were off and running.
No. 2 seed Saranac knocked down its first three attempts from behind the arc and showed off its speed as it jumped out to a 17-2 first-quarter lead on the way to stunning No. 1 seed Beekmantown 55-36.
“I wanted them to believe they belonged here and just go out and play confident on offense and intense on defense,” Saranac coach Tim Newell said. “And they just bought into it, and they did a great job.”
The Plattsburgh State Field House gym is not known to be friendly to shooters, but the Chiefs (17-3) seemed to like it just fine. They finished the first half with seven triples — four by Gillespie and three from Trim. Trim added one more 3-pointer in the second half and had a game-high 18 points. Gillespie, who had made seven treys all season before Friday, totaled 16 points and four steals.
Newell said he put his team through shooting drills all week to get ready for the Field House environment. Saranac will be back in that gym March 8 for an NYSPHSAA Class B regional final.
The Chiefs became the first team to beat Beekmantown two weeks ago, and Trim said that was “a big confidence booster.” They scored the first 15 points Friday — Grace Kelly put the Eagles on the board with two free throws in the final minute of the first quarter — and led 36-16 by halftime.
Besides knocking down shots from outside, the Chiefs built their cushion by pushing the tempo.
“Beekmantown actually couldn’t run with us, and we ended up scoring in transition,” Newell said. “They went to that zone, which opens up the perimeter.
“Tori Trim led the league in threes this year, and she showed it (Friday). She’s a true weapon. And Summer Gillespie just had a super game.”