March 5, 2013

E'town-Lewis faces tough Hammond team


— Elizabethtown-Lewis has been one of the top teams in Section VII’s Class D for the past few years.

The Class D title, however, had eluded the Lions.

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That is until they defeated Moriah Saturday, 49-34, at the Plattsburgh State Field House.

Next up for Elizabethtown-Lewis, the Section X champion Hammond Red Devils in tonight’s regional semifinal game at 6 p.m. at SUNY Potsdam.

The Red Devils knocked off Heuvelton in the Section X title game to land in tonight’s game.

“We are going to try to shut something down,” Lions coach Don Ratliff said. “We worked on some special defenses, but we will need to read and react to what they do.”

Hammond boasts one of the top players in the area in senior Alyssa Crosby.

Crosby leads the Red Devils in scoring at 18.6 points per game, more than double the second player on the team.

“We are going to have to pick our poison,” Ratliff said. “Hopefully we pick what works. Crosby is a very dynamic, six-foot athlete. She plays everywhere from the point to the five. When she gets a rebound it goes right back up, which is tough to defend. And she shoots the ball well.

“But, if we take her away (Courtney) Bova and (Gabby) Marshall could hurt us,”

Bova is second on the team in scoring at 7.9 points per game. Marshall, meanwhile, has made 53 field goals this season — 43 of those coming from 3-point range.

“Bova can score from the outside and she can get to the hoop. She is a double threat,” Ratliff said. “(Marshall) is going to shoot her share of threes. She has a pretty nice shot and we can’t really leave her free.

“We will double team Crosby in our man and in our zone. (Jasmin) Barnes will probably play her in man, with help. We don’t have anyone that can play her straight up, and we know that.”

The Lions move into tonight’s regional semifinals by finally clearing the hurdle in the Section VII Class D title game.

Lily Whalen leads the way offensively for Elizabethtown-Lewis with a 14.8 point-per-game average. Shonna Brooks is right behind at 12.8 points per game, while Kearstin Ashline is connecting on 8.6 per game.

“If we shoot well we can have a chance,” Ratliff said. “We don’t always shoot well and that is our concern. I like Potsdam’s gym and we have had a fair amount of girls play there, and they are excited to play there.

“We will give it a crack. We will have to play good defense and take care of the ball. I expect both a man and a zone press from them. As long as we can make them work on offense I think we can play with them.”

The winner of tonight’s game moves into Saturday’s regional final at SUNY Adirondack against Section II’s Fort Edward.

“The girls are a lot looser than I would have expected,” Ratliff said of Monday’s practice. “They are pretty excited.”

     Hammond (20-2) 

Scoring leaders


Alyssa Crosby 22 140 101 410 18.6

Courtney Bova 22 60 37 174 7.9

Gabby Marshall 22 53 25 156 7.1

Mikayla Horton 22 47 25 135 6.1

Emily Bush 21 26 27 79 3.8

3-point leaders

Player       GP 3PM

Gabby Marshall 22 43

Alyssa Crosby 22 29

Courtney Bova 22 17

Mikayla Horton 22 16

     Elizabethtown-Lewis (19-1)

Scoring leaders


Lily Whalen 20 113 51 296 14.8

Shonna Brooks 19 97 45 243 12.8

Kearstin Ashline 19 66 17 164 8.6

Jasmin Barnes 20 60 15 137 6.9

Kylee Cassavaugh 19 38 2 79 4.2

Savanah Graves 18 34 8 76 4.2

     3-point leaders

Player GP 3PM

Lily Whalen 20 19

Kearstin Ashline 19 15