March 2, 2013

E'town-Lewis girls capture section banner

PLATTSBURGH — After capturing the Mountain Valley Athletic Conference regular-season title Jan. 29, the Elizabethtown-Lewis girls’ basketball team had one more item to cross off its checklist — a Section VII championship.

The Lions (19-1), who received a combined 37 points from Shonna Brooks and Lily Whalen, claimed the Section VII Class D crown with a 49-34 victory over Moriah at the Plattsburgh State Field House Friday.

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“We’ve been talking for four years about where this team is going to go,” Elizabethtown-Lewis coach Don Ratliff said. “They’ve been pretty focused all year long that this wasn’t the goal either. I think these guys are pretty prepared to make a run in the state playoffs.”

Elizabethtown-Lewis jumped out to an 8-6 first-quarter lead with all eight points from Brooks and Whalen.

But a 7-2 run during the first 2:02 of the second stanza helped the Lions seize momentum.

“I think we spread the floor a little bit and our pick and roll worked OK,” Ratliff said. “(Brooks) and (Whalen) pick and roll very well. They ran it a couple times and got some success out of it.”

Ratliff’s Lions registered nine of their 17 free throws in the first half, including five made attempts in a 15-point second quarter.

Entering Friday afternoon’s contest, Ratliff’s game plan was to push the Vikings (11-10) tempo.

“We didn’t put a ton of pressure on them, but we tried to make sure they didn’t get a lot of time in their half-court offense,” Ratliff said. “They screened so well, and we were caught off a little bit in the middle of the floor. We wanted to make sure that they didn’t have a lot of time to run two or three times through the paint.”

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