Bennett, Hart Join 1000-Point Club In Wins
BY DAVE SHEA
Senior Nights at Hammond and Edwards-Knox were graced by seniors Kelsey Bennett and Abby Hart scoring their 1000th career points and going on to 32-point outings as the Red Devils and Cougars completed outstanding NAC West seasons.
NAC West Champion Hammond downed Hermon-DeKalb 69-23 to clinch sole possession of the title at 11-1 in division play and 17-1 overall. E-K outscored a tenacious upset bid by Harrisville 70-65 to finish at 9-3 in division play.
In other NAC Girls Basketball games St. Regis Falls downed Colton-Pierrepont 48-33 and Parishville-Hopkinton dropped Tupper Lake 31-23 in NAC East play and Massena dropped Norwood-Norfolk 73-49 in a nonleague game.
Hammond 69 - H-D 23: After being honored in a Senior Night ceremony Kelsey Bennett buried five 3s scoring 32 points and Kylie Vaugh netted 14 for the Red Devils who jumped out to a 20-3 first quarter lead and continued their constrictive defense limiting a solid H-D (4-8, 10-9) club to single digit scoring in all four quarters.
Avery Kenyon tallied 14 points, Hailey Cunningham tallied eight and Sadie Sprabary added two in the Devils' 17th straight win.
Rounding out the Devils' championship team are: Alyia Crosby, Caitlynn Cunningham and Jordan Kloepping. The two teams will play a nonleague game at SUNY Canton tonight at 7 p.m.
"Kelsey Bennett and Kylie Vaughan are two wonderful athletes who have dedicated countless hours in the gym and on the soccer field. They completed a fantastic home career by sealing the very tough D-West banner tonight. During second half Kelsey Bennett scored her 1000th point of her career. The girls tonight were very emotional. Excited. Elated. And Energized," said Hammond Coach Shawn Dack.
"Kylie and Kelsey have grown into fantastic athletes. But more important they are WONDERFUL individuals who play this game and carry themselves with respect, honor, class and dignity. As well as every Hammond girl does. I can’t tell you how proud I am of them. Just can’t explain it in words. They have grown up and done this on their own!!!. I’m very fortunate to work with such amazing kids."
Hailey Gollinger buried two 3-pointers and Haile Bouchey also scored six points for H-D. Emery McQuade, Hillary Jones and Bri Grant all scored four and Bella Marcellus chipped in two.
The Hammond JVs won the preliminary game to claim at least a tie for the NAC West title at 11-1 and also match the varsity's 17-1 mark. Heuvelton can earn a share of the division title with a win in their season finale tonight in Morristown.
"They play the game the right way," said Coach Dack of his JVs.
E-K 70 - Harrisville 65: North Country Community College bound Abby Hart made Senior Night at E-K memorable as she reached the 1000-point plateau in her career and went on to score 32 points as the Cougars (9-3, 11-5) completed a strong finish to NAC West play and outscored a strong effort by Harrisville (5-7, 11-9).
Also honored on Senior Night were Rachel Vachez and Ali Matthews who along with Hart provided excellent leadership for E-K and have appeared in two New York State Class D Final Fours.
"I have to hand it to Harrisville they played with great energy and heart and we didn't match that in the first half. We didn't play with the intensity we had against Heuvelton but we came on the second half and finished strong," said E-K Coach Patty Taylor.
"Harrisville also showed great sportsmanship letting our exchange student Pel Kara score late in the game."
Lucy Frary produced 20 points, 10 rebounds and six steals for E-K which outscored Harrisville 39-26 in the second half.
Hailey Matthews tallied 11 points for E-K followed by Jasmine Nezezon with four, Kara Pel with two and Dekota Matthews with one.
Harlie Moore with 17 points, Torie Moore with 15 and Hannah LaPlatney with 12 led Harrisville and Amy Manchester added eight. Bayleigh Spencer chipped in three points.
P-H 32 - Tupper Lake 23: A 15-2 second quarter run propelled the Panthers past Tupper Lake. Emma Bloom tallied nine points for the Panthers followed by: Sydnie Phippen (6), Brenna Woods (6), Autumn McWilliams (5), Kelly Bloom (4) and Mary Grace Guiney (2).
Amber Sovay led Tupper Lake with eight points.