CLINTONVILLE — It’s not often that two defending champions clash in a semifinal matchup.
Tuesday, though, that is exactly what happened in the Class D semifinals at AuSable Valley Central School.
High School Sports Magazine
Moriah, which captured the Class C title a season ago, battled back to knock off Indian Lake/Long Lake 34-30. The Orange claimed the Class D championship in 2012.
The Vikings will take on Elizabethtown-Lewis in Friday’s Section VII Class D title game at 4 p.m. at the Plattsburgh State Field House.
Moriah took a 12-8 lead after the first quarter but went cold shooting in the middle two quarters, scoring just nine total points.
The Orange took advantage and built up a 22-17 lead at the half and a 27-21 lead at the end of three.
The Vikings had fallen behind by 10 in the third quarter, but a late 3-pointer by Lauren Cross gave them some momentum heading into the fourth quarter.
“(Indian Lake/Long Lake) is a very good ball club,” Moriah coach Steve Pelkey said. “We knew this was going to be a battle coming in. We really needed to pick it up in the second half.
“I thought (Sarah) Slattery did a great job in the second with her effort. She really sparked us.”
Trailing for most of the game, Slattery proved to be the difference-maker in the second half — especially in the fourth quarter.
A Slattery rebound and subsequent three-point play gave the Vikings their first lead of the second half 29-27 with 4:01 left in the game.
“I felt like we weren’t really playing our game and that if I could push the tempo it might help us,” Slattery said. “The played a 1-3-1, which is something that we weren’t prepared for, but we pulled it together as the game went on.