OFA Girls Secure Smooth Senior Night Win
BY DAVE SHEA
Before Thursday's NAC Central Girls Basketball finale against Gouveneur, Celia Henry, Hailey Reed and Samara LaFlair were honored for outstanding OFA careers in a Senior Night Ceremony.
Henry followed with a career shooting effort hitting her first five shots with two first half 3- pointers to provide a season-high 14 points and a major spark in a 48-32 win which completed OFA's drive for the second Class B seed in the Section 10 Tournament.
OFA finished at 9-5 in division play and 13-7 overall while a young Gouverneur squad logged creditable records of 8-6 and 11-9.
Emily Farrand buried the first shot of the game and Henry, who passed out five assists, followed with a three-pointer and OFA jumped out to an 8-0 lead. Farrand, who scored 10 points, and Henry, who passed out five assists, also combined with Paige Pinkerton and Brinley Frederick to handle the bulk of the individual coverage in an impactful triangle and two defense.
"We played outstanding defense again. The triangle and two worked very well. It was a total team effort and Celia Henry's shooting was really big. She shot with confidence. I have been waiting for her to do that and I hope she does it again" said OFA Coach Doug Loffler.
"In different sequences we really controlled the boards well and when we got in some foul trouble the reserves came in and did a great job. I think this win sewed up the two seed so we will probably host Gouverneur in the semi-finals."
OFA led 13-6 after one quarter and reeled off a 15-3 second quarter run capped off by a strong putback finish by Grace Hilborne as time expired.
The Wildcats, who were led by skilled freshman guard Raelin Burns who scored seven points, gained a 23-20 advantage in the second half.
"We couldn't get any shots to drop for us in the first half. We had some good looks, but couldn't finish, where they were able to. I thought we played pretty good defense throughout the game, and I thought we outplayed them in the second half, but it's a four quarter game, and we scored only three in the second quarter, which put us in a position we couldn't recover from," said Gouverneur Coach Sean Devlin.
"The league is good this year, for the most part, anybody can beat anybody any given day which keeps it interesting. We are looking forward to another competitive game next week. Kudos to OFA, they deserved the win tonight on Senior Night."
Freshman Avery Raven provided 11 points and two blocks and Riley Hough provided seven points, five rebounds and three assists to the win. Gabby Morley tallied four points and Grace Hilborne added two.
"I would like to thank the student body tonight for their support. It was a great sixth man atmosphere. The girls appreciated the support," said Coach Loffler.
Torie Salisbury, active center Shacoria Jackson and Rabbit Sweet each scored four points for Gouverneur. Laney Smith and Cierra Besaw each scored three points, Chantel Horne and Elizabeth Riutta each added two and Lexi Devlin and Mikayla Douglass each chipped in one.
GOUVERNEUR JVS RUN TABLE
The preliminary game saw the Gouverneur JVs with a starting lineup of five eighth graders post a 63-25 victory to complete a perfect NAC Central Championship under the direction of Coach Rick Vrooman.
Meredith Bush tallied 15 points and Caitlyn Storie and Addison Conklin each scored 10 points to lead the Wildcats. Other scoring came from: Chloe Smith (7), Abby Bowman (3), Grace Holmes (5), Sierra Billings (2), Madelynne Hay-Spano (4) and Courtney Forsythe (7).
Olivia Merrill led OFA with 15 points followed by Olivia Liebstein (3), Kenzie Bucher (2), Quinn Crossen (3) and Dylanne Brunet (2).
"We played a pretty good first quarter but Gouverneur is just an outstanding team. My girls worked hard all season and improved," said OFA Coach Jon Cole.