PLATTSBURGH — Defending NYPHSAA Class C girls’ basketball champion Hoosic Valley likes to pressure its opponents defensively and get out and run.
Sounds a lot like what AuSable Valley likes to do.
High School Sports Magazine
The two teams meet at noon today at the Plattsburgh State Field House for a regional championship and a berth in the state final four.
“They mirror what we do,” AuSable Valley coach Roger Long said. “The point differential between the two teams is about the same.
“They have the experience edge. They play in a good league (Wasaren) and I believe they’ve won seven of the last eight sectional titles.”
Hoosic Valley went 13-1 in league play and its three losses were to bigger schools, according to Long.
The Indians (20-3) won the state championship a year ago, but lost four of the five starters off that team.
Back, however, is Cassidy Chapko, who scored 22 points and added 10 rebounds, seven steals and four assists in the Section II team’s 44-25 victory over Section X’s Canton in the opening round of the regionals at Adirondack Community College.
Chapko, a 5-4 senior, is averaging 19.8 points a game.
“She is their leading scorer and shoots a lot of threes,” Long said. “They run their offensive sets through her and have isolation plays for her. She can get to the basket.
“We had trouble against (Plattsburgh High’s) Marle Curle this year and they’re the same kind of players. But Chapko is smaller than Marle and we match up better against her.”
Kimberly Kocienski, a 5-8 senior, and Sydney Fitzpatrick are also key players for the Indians.
“I’ve seen them play twice,” Long said. “I watched them Saturday against Berne-Knox-Westerlo (a 54-19 win) and saw the film of their game against Canton.
“The concern I have is that there will be a little quicker pace to the start of the game than we’ve seen during the season. We will have to make an adjustment at the start of the game because the first few minutes will be very important.
“They’re very aggressive on defense and try to make their opponents uncomfortable. But I have a great backcourt and we shouldn’t see anything we haven’t seen.”
The Patriots (18-2) last played in the Section VII Class C championship game where they defeated Northern Adirondack (58-33). In the semifinals, AuSable Valley broke away in the second half for a win over Ticonderoga (51-25).
“We started our basketball season on November 7 and lost one game by two points and another to Franklin Academy,” Long said. “Midway through the season, our players got into a little rut. It’s hard to keep focused for four months with just eight players on the team. We got a little complacent.
“We had a wake-up call in the first half against Ticonderoga. The girls know that it’s win now or go home.”
The Patriots are being led in scoring by Meghan Strong (14.4), Taylor Saltus (11.6) and Logan Snow (8.0).
Haley Taylor, Madison Rondeau, Sierra Snow and Bryce Douglass are some of the other key players for AuSable Valley.
Long said playing at the Field House won’t hurt.
“No question, we have a lot of things in our favor because we’re basically playing at home and there is no bus ride,” he said. “We have to make sure we’re prepared. We have enough game film on them and want to try and take away their strengths.
“Offensively, we want to try and keep our spacing. Both teams will look to run and play good defense. I think we have a good game plan — we just need to execute it. Our kids have an extra gear that they haven’t always used.
“Our kids need to get comfortable and keep their composure. It’s just a basketball game.”
Hoosic Valley (20-3)
Player GP FG FT PTS PPG
Cassidy Chapko 23 160 86 456 19.8
Sydney Fitzpatrick 19 53 3 148 7.8
Kimberly Kocienski 22 59 42 165 7.5
Marisa Moore 17 27 15 76 4.5
Tracy Anderson 16 30 7 67 4.2
Player GP 3PM
Cassidy Chapko 23 50
Sydney Fitzpatrick 19 39
Samantha Connors 23 17
AuSable Valley (18-2)
Player GP FG FT PTS PPG
Meghan Strong 20 104 38 287 14.4
Taylor Saltus 20 95 31 232 11.6
Logan Snow 20 58 31 159 8.0
Madison Rondeau 20 49 24 134 6.7
Sierra Snow 20 26 8 63 3.2
Player GP 3PM
Meghan Strong 20 41
Madison Rondeau 20 12
Logan Snow 20 12
Taylor Saltus 20 11