March 2, 2013

AuSable girls win first title in 20 years

PLATTSBURGH — The AuSable Valley girls’ basketball team attacked the rim Friday night.

Northern Adirondack didn’t have the answer.

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The Patriots pulled away for a 58-33 victory in the Section VII Class C championship game at the Plattsburgh State Field House, capturing their first sectional title since the 1991-92 season.

“The girls had their eye on the prize,” said AuSable Valley coach Roger Long. “We had a bad practice yesterday. You could see the girls just wanted to play the game.

“You could tell from their body language tonight that they were ready to play.”

Both teams are very young.

The Patriots (18-2) have only two seniors, while the Bobcats don’t have any. AuSable Valley, however, did have an experience edge over NAC.

“I think we were a little intimidated when they made their run,” said NAC coach Jessica Barnhart. “We needed someone to step up and respond to the challenge. But we couldn’t do it.”

The Patriots hit two 3-pointers in the game and the vast majority of their points came from penetration to the basket or in transition off steals. AuSable Valley stole the ball 26 times.

“We have players who can shoot the three, but we didn’t want to settle for that,” said Long. “You have to contend with the depth perception at the Field House and we didn’t want to have a quick trigger.

“We wanted to attack the rim and play strong defense. We struggled a little in the first quarter defensively, but did well after that. We also rebounded well.”

The Bobcats made a game of it in the first quarter, trailing by a 12-10 score before the Patriots settled for a 16-11 advantage after one.

But that would be as close as NAC would get the rest of the way.

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