PLATTSBURGH-For three quarters, the Northeastern Clinton Lady Cougars seemed destined to spend the next weekend in Troy.
However, Hoosic Valley used a stifling defense and clutch shooting in the last eight minutes to out-score the Cougars 15-5 and score a 36-32 win in the Class B regional finals March 12.
"They shut us down defensively, for sure," Cougars head coach Dave Lambert said after the game. "It was a real physical game and we had our chances and it was a pressure-packed game throughout."
The Cougars held a 21-15 halftime lead and a 27-21 advantage after the third. In the fourth, the Cougars got five points from Kari Dominic, who finished with eight points, four rebounds and six assists.
However, Hoosic ended the game on a 8-0 run to take the lead with 1:18 left and knocked down three free throws in the final 27 seconds to seal the victory and advance to the Class B final four.
"We got open shots in the first half and we made them," Lambert said. "They were all over Katrina (Garrand, who finished with eight points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals). It was hard to go into that locker room and console those girls after."
Chelsey Brooks also scored eight points in the game to go with five rebounds and a steal. Rachelle Barcomb scored six ponts to go with two rebounds, two assists and two steals, while Allie Cartier scored two points and grabbed four rebounds.
Kayla Dragoon added three rebounds and an assist.
"I could not be more proud of these girls," Lambert said. "They were able to come through an win a sectional title in a very tough class and played hard tonight."