PLATTSBURGH — It was a battle between youth and experience in the Class B regional semifinals at Plattsburgh State Field House Wednesday.
Unfortunately for Beekmantown, youth caught up to it and its regional run came to an end with a 54-26 defeat to a veteran Watervliet team.
High School Sports Magazine
The Cannoneers played excellent defense against Beekmantown center Shannon Ryan and point guard Grace Kelly. Both were held well under their season averages as Ryan finished with just nine points and Kelly, two.
“I think we did an excellent job on No. 24 (Ryan) and that Kelly girl,” Watervliet coach Gordie Johnson said.
After a lack-luster first quarter of turnovers and missed shots, Beekmantown got down early, looking at a 20-point deficit.
However, Ryan got hot to start the second quarter as she added five of her points to help the Eagles go on a 7-0 run. Beekmantown was still struggling against Watervliet’s full-court pressure, but it was able to adjust defensively and only allow one made basket in the quarter.
“I thought in the first half it was a combination with the turnovers and open looks we didn’t knock down,” Eagles coach Greg Waters said. “We made a good run in the second quarter, we still missed a few shots, and I thought we could have gotten their lead under 10 by the end of the half.”
Beekmantown cut the lead to 26-15 at half, but it would be the closest they would get to the Cannoneers.
“I think we should have made the first run coming into the second half, but we didn’t, they did,” Waters added.
Watervliet was led by seniors Ailayia Demand and Mikayla Deguire, who finished with 21 and 19 points, respectively.
“I think it was their experience that made the difference,” Waters said. “This was our first time in this type of game. I think it was more about their experience.”
The Eagles are a young group, only graduating one senior after the season. Waters is excited for the potential of his team; he knows getting to games such as these can only season his players, and get them better for next season.
“We got to get back to work. All that offseason stuff pays off and it gets us to this game,” Waters said. “Here’s the goal, to get back to this game and win. We’re going to be a year older and a year with more experience.”
Waters pointed out, that this Cannoneers team was in the same position as his team one year ago. He added that Watervliet “learned from their mistakes” by playing in the regionals the previous year, and knows his team is “just one step behind” this very good Cannoneers team.
Waters believes his team has great potential to not only get back to regional play, but also make a deep run when they get there.
Demand 7-6-21, Dockstader 0-1-1, Clickner 0-2-2, Shufelt 2-0-4, Deguire 8-2-19, Sziller 0-0-0, Szczepanski 2-1-5, Clough 0-0-0, Dugan 1-0-2, Durocher 0-0-0. Totals: 20-12-54.
Wilson 0-0-0, Ryan 4-1-9, Kelly 1-0-2, Barcomb 3-2-8, Anderson 1-2-4, LaFountain 0-0-0, Guynup 0-3-3, McKinnley 0-0-0, Barrett 0-0-0, Rowell 0-0-0. Totals: 9-8-26.
Watervliet 24 2 12 16 — 54
Beekmantown 4 11 4 5 — 26
3-point goals: Watervliet (2): Demand; Deguire.