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Bears Deny Lady Devils; Wildcats Trim Massena

CANTON - OFA dropped into a three-way tie at 8-5 in the race for second place in the Northern Conference Girls Basketball Central Division race on Monday. Malone (12-6) currently leads the runner-up derby with an 8-4 mark.

The Blue Devils (12-6) dropped a 46-42 decision to division unbeaten Canton (13-0, 16-3), while Gouverneur (9-8) climbed to 8-5 and dropped Massena (10-8) to 8-5 in a 51-47 decision.

OFA will host Gouverneur in its Senior Night game on Thursday in a contest which could be very important in terms of the second Class B seed for the Section 10 Tournament. OFA also travels top Indian River tonight for a nonleague game.

The other Central Division game of the night saw Potsdam down Salmon River 38-13.

Canton 46 - OFA 42: OFA Coach Doug Loffler regarded the quality of Monday's effort as major asset as the Lady Devils move on toward the postseason. Canton took a 17-10 halftime lead and widened it 31-24 after three quarters. OFA rallied with an 18-14 fourth quarter finish.

"This was definitely our best effort of the season and it was a great game. We played very tough defense and took the ball to the basket hard in the fourth quarter. We tied the game once down the stretch but they got loose for a couple of transition scores and we just missed controlling some key rebounds on foul shots," said Coach Loffler.

"We played a triangle and two and box and one against their two outstanding guards Sarah Sieminski and Katie Chisholm and held them both to nine points. Celia Henry, Emily Farrand, Paige Pinkerton and Brinley Frederick all did a great job defending against them and Hailey Reed and Riley Hough had strong games inside."

Sieminski and Chisholm combined to lead the Canton's offense by committee with nine points each and Lexi Huiatt tallied seven points. Maddie Hoy and Emily Wentworth combined for six and five points and Mary Lobdell added four. Other scoring came from Kelsey Whittier with three and Gretchen Warner with two.

Emily Farrand with 12 points, Riley Howe (4 rebounds) with 11 and Gabby Morley (8 rebounds) with 10 led the OFA offense. Hailey Reed (4 rebounds) tallied eight points and Paige Pinkerton added one.

"It was a defensive battle throughout. Both teams worked hard and Coach Loffler has his team playing well at the right time of the year," said Canton Coach Jim DiSalvo.

"We would make a little run and they would fight right back. There was great intensity by both teams and we always know it will be a tough game when we face them."

Gouverneur 51 - Massena 47: Raelin Burns buried four of her six 3-pointers to lead the Wildcats on a 24-9 third quarter run with proved to be the difference when Massena finished on a 16-7 run. Burns finished with 23 points and four rebounds for the Wildcats and Laney Smith and Torie Salisbury each scored six and Lexi Devlin added five. Other scoring came from Ciera Besaw with three and Rabbit Sweet and Shacoria Jackson (6 rebounds) with four apiece.

"Tonight we were able to knock down some shots, especially in the second half and I thought we did a decent job at making them take outside shots so they couldn't settle into their inside game," said Gouverneur Coach Sean Devlin.

"Tonight we looked like we did in the first part of the season when we were healthy, running the floor and using our speed. We still have a lot of work to do and we certainly need to continue to improve as the season progresses."

Hayleigh Armstrong and Ayrssa Hopps scored 12 and nine points to lead a balanced Massena offense which also featured: Shaylena Mandigo (3), Savannah Gauthier (6), Nova LeGrow (5), Layla Bingham (6), Kailey Peets (4) and Tsiakoseriio David (2).

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