PLATTSBURGH-This was the goal the whole season.
In the Section VII/Class D girls varsity basketball championship game, Carli Reynolds and the rest of her Indian Lake/Long Lake teammates accomplished what they set out to do, scoring a 40-24 win over the two-time defending Westport Lady Eagles at the Plattsburgh State Field House March 4.
"I kind of knew it was going to be this way," Reynolds, who scored 26 points, said about facing Westport in the finals. "I know all those girls are so nice and they are such a great team. It feels great to beat them finally. They are great people and I love them all, too."
"I think John has done a tremendous job," Westport head coach Hokey McKinley said after the game. "They are great kids. It's a joy for everyone involved to see success and share in that success to some minor degree. They have worked hard and they will represent us well from here on."
Orange head coach John Reynolds said the win was not without having to get past the Westport pressure defense.
"Give them credit," Reynolds said. "They're plan was to wear us down and I have never seen my girls so tired. So it was a good plan but I was so glad they were able to keep going. Their pressure got us fatigued and made it hard to get into our sets. When we got into the sets, we were able to get what we wanted."
The game started in a 0-0 defensive struggle, with the Eagles eventually taking a 5-4 lead. However, an 11-0 run by the Orange quickly gave them an advantage they would not look back from.
McKinley said that overall, the game came down to the defense the Orange executed better.
"Little defensive lapses that we have were a big difference," McKinley said. "Their defense was very tough. Every shot that we got was very contested and we didn't finish well."
For the Lady Eagles, Christina Sherman scored 10 points, with Willa McKinley adding seven points, Allison Sherman scoring six points and Brendee Russell scoring one point.
In the Class D semifinals March 1, the Eagles battled down to the final minute again with the Schroon Lake Lady Wildcats, as Mallory Sudduth hit a bucket to pull the Eagles within one and Willa McKinley hit both ends of a one-and-one to give her team a 35-34 lead, which would stand after the Eagles forced a turnover to win the game.
McKinley led the Eagles with 10 points in the game, while Christina Sherman scored eight points, Allison Sherman scored seven points, Nancy Armitage scored four points and the trio of Karlee McGee, Brendee Russell and Sudduth scored two points each.
In the other semifinal, the Orange used a 16-6 opening half to get past the Elizabethtown-Lewis Lady Lions by a score of 37-22.
Carley Reynolds led the Orange with 17 points, while Allison Pine scored 16 points, Melony Pierson scored two points and Jessica Bain added two points.
Kearsten Ashline led the Lions with nine points, while Lily Whalen scored eight points, Ashli Canabush and Emily Morris scored two points and Shonna Brooks scored one point.
QUEENSBURY - Slick with sweat and teary eyed, the Lady Orange celebrated in a huddle at SUNY Adirondack Tuesday, March 8 after a 52-51 overtime Class D state regional victory over Fort Edward.
The game was fast paced and close from the first to final buzzer and the Orange picked up their defense to combat Fort Edwards fast-paced style of play.
"We have never faced a team with a pressure defense like theirs," said Orage head coach John Reynolds.
After several missed foul shots and foul trouble, Reynolds began to think that maybe it wasn't meant to be.
"Every girls on that floor tonight played their hearts out," he said.
The Orange jumped to an early 8-0 lead and finished the first quarter at 15-8. The Flying Forts, however, didn't let them get off that easy, outshooting them 17-9 in the second quarter and lead at the half 25-24.
Both teams turned to full-court pressure in the second half and finished regulations tied at 48 after Carlie Reynolds sank two free-throws. She scored seven of her 13 points from the line.
Murphy Farrell fouled out in regulation and the Orange were forced to pick up their defense without her. Farrell finished with nine points, including one three-pointer.
In overtime, Reynolds put up at jumper to secure a 52-50 lead and, ultimately, give them the win.
The final seconds of the game brought a scramble that transfered the ball through the hands of six different players before the final buzzer rang. The Orange crowd erupted with cheers and the Lady Orange fell into a celebratory huddle.
"It was intense, but we have wanted this for so long," said Orange senior forward Allison Pine. "After Murph fouled out, we had to work that much harder."
Pine finished with 11 points in the win.
The Orange were led by some surprise shooting by Melanie Peirson, who finished with a season-high 15 points. Jessica Bain and Morgan Hinkley each contributed two points apiece in the win.
The record-setting season will continue as Indian Lake-Long Lake (20-2) will face Section X's Chateaugay at Potsdam State at noon Saturday.