UTICA — The Clinton Community College women’s basketball team pulled away from Herkimer Community College in Friday’s second half to advance to the Region III Tournament semifinals for the first time in program history.
Katrina Garrand had 18 points, eight rebounds and seven assists as the sixth-seeded Cougars knocked off No. 3 seed Herkimer 54-42 at Mohawk Valley Community College.
“I’m just really pleased. The girls came out — even knowing we were a six seed and they were a three seed — with a lot of confidence,” Clinton coach Donna Dixon said. “The more we played, the more confident we got. I’m really, really happy with the leadership from our sophomores.”
Clinton will face No. 2 seed Onondaga Community College at 3 p.m. today.
The Cougars trailed by two at halftime Friday.
“We came out more aggressive in the second half,” Dixon said. “We switched to man-to-man defense and really just got after it defensively. We got out in transition a little, started attacking their zone. That got us going, and we went on a pretty good run in the second half.”
Alisha Ducatte scored 17 for Clinton, and Emily Decker had nine points and six rebounds. Ruth Paul pulled down 17 reoubnds.
Shileeka Williams led Herkimer with 11 points.
The Cougars had been to the Region III quarterfinals but had never won before Friday.
Onondaga made the semis by defeating SUNY Delhi 89-56. Clinton fell to Onondaga 72-63 on Dec. 1.
“I think we match up pretty well. But they have a lot more depth,” Dixon said. “They like to press the whole game. I think if we can stop them in transition, we can give them a good game.”
Clinton 54, Herkimer 42
Garrand 5-5-18, Gates 2-0-4, Ducatte 5-4-17, E. Decker 3-3-9, Paul 1-0-2, Barber 0-1-1, J. Decker 1-1-3, Horton 0-0-0, Agoney 0-0-0. Totals: 17-14-54.
Waters 0-0-0, Randio 2-1-5, Williams 3-2-11, W. Brown 1-4-6, Webb 4-1-9, Seabrooks 2-2-6, Loucks 0-0-0, A. Brown 0-0-0, Craig 2-0-5. Totals: 14-10-42.
3-point goals: Clinton (6), Garrand 3, Ducatte 3. Herkimer (4), Williams 3, Craig.
Halftime: Herkimer 21-19.
Delhi 63, NCCC 50
DELHI — The SUNY Delhi Broncos earned their spurs as the top defensive team in NJCAA Region III, Div. III men’s basketball this season.
It wasn’t the kind of scouting report North Country Community College Coach Chad LaDue was looking for, especially with two of his top players out for the season and a third just returning from a bout with mononucleosis.
Predictably, the Saints struggled to get into their offense Friday and eventually fell to the second-seeded Broncos 63-50 in the first round of the Div. III tournament.
“We only shot 27 percent the first half and their defense had a lot to do with it,” LaDue said. “With two starters out, it was asking a lot of the guys, but they played hard.”
NCCC (17-11) played without Jared Heden (mononucleosis) and Brody Douglass (broken hand) while Steve Poulter was just back from his own bout with mono.
The Saints led 13-9 6:23 into the game, but Delhi knotted it at 15 midway through the half and then went in front to stay.
“We didn’t hit some shots and they were able to get it going a little bit in the open floor,” LaDue added.
The Broncos went on a run the last four minutes of the half to open a 36-23 lead by the break. The Saints never got within 13 the rest of the way.
Steve Carder, in his final game with NCCC, led all scorers with 29 points. He also grabbed nine rebounds. Michael Boyea netted 10 points to go with four assists.
Sean Scott, with 14, and Stefan Bock, with 10, led Delhi (27-4) in scoring. Bock also had 10 rebounds with Scott picking off nine.
Afterward, LaDue called the season one of the most enjoyable in his time at NCCC.
“I’m extremely proud of these guys. It was the most fun I’ve had in 11 years of coaching,” he said. “They’re a great bunch of young men who know how to play the game the right way.”
SUNY Delhi 63, NCCC 50
North Country CC (50)
Brock 0-0-0, Stone 0-0-0, Poulter 2-0-5, Boyea 1-8-10, Grcic 0-0-0, Hanle 0-0-0, Henderson 1-0-3, Patraw 1-0-3, Poupore 0-0-0, Mills 0-0-0, Carder 11-7-29. Totals 16-15-50.
SUNY Delhi (63)
Simmons 0-0-0, Campbell 2-0-4, Mitchell 3-2-9, Nickelson 1-3-5, Bock 5-0-10, Grant 1-0-2, Moore 1-0-2, Mehmetaj 3-0-8, Anderson 0-0-0, Carter 0-00, Scott 6-2-14, Toure 4-1-9, Miller 0-0-0. Totals 26-6-63.
Halftime: Delhi, 36-23.