The 2012-13 Warrensburg High School Girls Basketball Team includes (front, left to right): Amanda Gee, Chiara Russo, Makayla Baker, Braydin Smith, (row 2): Aineen Callahan, Liz Turner, Korynn Raymond, Kaylene Norton, Mika Morehouse, Erin Langworthy and Catie Baker. (Not pictured): Merissa Hayes.
The Warrensburg Girls Basketball team advanced to the Class D Section II semifinals with a hard-fought win Friday Feb. 22 against Northville.
With vocal fans supporting them in their game held in Fort Edward, the fourth-seeded Burghers combined aggressive play with a savvy game plan to achieve the 58-42 victory over the 5th-seeded Lady Falcons.
The Burghers had a game plan of a diamond-one defense that pitted Senior Korynn Raymond against Northville’s top scorer, Lindsey Wadsworth, and the remainder of the team executed a zone defense. The Burghers forced turnovers in the process, giving them a 6-0 start within the first few minutes. Balanced scoring from all over the court and attacking inside resulted in a 27-13 margin at halftime despite Northville fighting back with a full-court press. The diamond-one strategy caught Northville off-guard, as Wadsworth, who averages 16 points per game – was held to one point at the half.
In the second half, Northville retaliated with a 15-2 scoring run, in which Wadsworth hit nine points. But Junior Mika Morehouse and her teammates, in charging to the basket, got Wadsworth and her teammate Abby Moore in foul trouble. With the two players benched, the Burghers took advantage, executing a 10-2 run -- leading to a 39-30 score at the end of the third stanza.
But Northville wouldn’t quit.
Wadsworth led Northville’s final charge, with consecutive 3-pointers and several free throws, narrowing the Burgher lead to merely one point.
The Burghers, however, responded to the challenge.
Morehouse stepped up her aggressive inside play, and teammate Erin Langworthy stole the spotlight, beginning with a pair of 3-pointers and a layup off a stolen ball, which gave the Burghers a five-point margin with about five minutes left to play. Langworthy, the hard-charging Freshman sensation, scored 13 of her game-total 24 points in the fourth quarter, and a total team effort put the game out of reach for the Lady Falcons. Morehouse scored 17 in the game, and sophomore Liz Turner tallied eight.
Reflecting on the game Sunday, Burgher coach Scott Smith said the team’s hard work in practice throughout the week prior to the game was key to the victory. Every day, the players hustled, focusing on the game plan, he said.
The players who don’t normally experience many game minutes assunmed the roles of Northville players, giving the starters an opportunity to practice their game plan. Among those playing such an important role, Smith said, were juniors Makayla Baker and Merissa Hayes; sophomores Aineen Callahan, Amanda Gee and Kaylene Norton; and senior Braydin Smith.
The coach also praised Turner, who played with vigor, tallying 11 rebounds, despite recovering from the flu.
“Our players really showed their character Friday,” Smith said.
Next up for the Burghers is a semifinal showdown with Adirondack League champions Fort Edward.
Smith said his team isn’t fazed by Fort Edward’s No. 3 ranking in the state, nor their19-0 season record. The Burghers are 10-9.
“We don’t mind being underdogs,” he said. “We’ll play as hard as we can – we’ll be leaving it all on the floor.”