March 6, 2013

Eagles relying on experience against top point guards


— The Beekmantown girls’ basketball team has played against a lot of good, athletic point guards during its Champlain Valley Athletic Conference season.

The Eagles will see another one when they face Section II’s Watervliet in tonight’s Class B regional semifinal at 6 p.m. at the Plattsburgh State Field House.

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Beekmantown coach Greg Waters is hoping the experience his players received playing against some top-flight point guards this season will help tonight.

“They have a good guard in (Ailayia) Demand,” Waters said. “She is a pretty decent point guard. She’s a lefty, pretty quick and likes to go off the dribble.

“We have played against a lot of good guards this season and I think that will hopefully help us out in this game. Playing against (Meghan) Strong, (Mary) Mazzella and (Marle) Curle helps us out a lot.”

Demand is a five-year varsity starter who leads the team with an 18.1 point-per-game average. She has also connected on a team-high 38 3-pointers on the season.

She had 16 points to lead the Cannoneers past Ravena in the Section II Class B title game, 43-35.

“She was pretty patient against Ravena,” Waters said. “They played a 3-2 zone and she was patient with it and penetrated when she could. She also made some good plays on the defensive end with a few steals, and she got out in transition.”

Mikayla DeGuire, who is fighting through a knee injury during this playoff run, has also averaged double figures this season at 13.2 points per game. She finished with 15 against Ravena, including some key free throws down the stretch.

Beekmantown lands in tonight’s contest after capturing its first sectional title since 2005-06 with a 44-40 overtime win over Plattsburgh.

Shannon Ryan led the charge with 27 points, 16 rebounds and three blocks for the Eagles. She has been the leader all season long for Beekmantown, and is currently averaging 24 points per game.

“We have had some good practices and have watched lots of game film,” Waters said. “They seem very focused and determined to succeed.”

Grace Kelly is also coming off a strong game against the Hornets. She finished with just five points, but played strong defensively against Curle and was strong in bringing the ball up the court against a tough full-court defense.

She is second on the team in scoring at 9.2 points per game.

“Defensively we will play some zone,” Waters said. “We played some zone against Saranac (in the Section VII Class B semis) and this guard has good speed so I think we are better off putting our bigs in a position to help.

“Offensively we have been working a lot on two-man drills, inside-out and post-to-post. I like our matchups. I definitely like our matchups in the post.”

Watervliet (20-2)

Scoring leaders


Ailayia Demand 22 131 99 399 18.1

Mikayla DeGuire 22 114 61 291 13.2

Lashana Tolliver 22 69 31 170 7.7

Kiki Szczepanski 22 37 8 85 3.9

Arianna Dockstader 22 19 12 60 2.7

3-point leaders

Player GP No.

Ailayia Demand 22 38

Arianna Dockstader 22 10

Beekmantown (17-3)

Scoring leaders


Shannon Ryan 20 206 67 479 24.0

Grace Kelly 20 53 58 184 9.2

Emily Anderson 14 43 14 100 7.1

Aleasha Barcomb 20 17 15 49 2.5

Courtney Wilson 18 19 5 43 2.4

3-point leaders

Player GP No.

Grace Kelly 20 20