Lady Vikings Winners, Even In Defeat
CONTACT: Jeff Foley (518) 629-8085 or (518) 373-1262
Hudson Valley Battles Till The End In 50-48 Loss
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Saturday, March 3, 2001
Mohawk Valley Community College, March 3 – Ignore the scoreboard, which at the end read: Mohawk Valley Community College 50, Hudson Valley Community College 48. The score doesn't do justice to the heart-filled effort the Lady Vikings gave head coach Colleen Ferris for 40 minutes this afternoon. The scoreboard doesn't tell you the important information; it doesn't say that the only words that can describe Hudson Valley's performance today are gutsy, gritty and scrappy.
In short, number-one seeded Hudson Valley (24-3) lost its NJCAA Region III semifinal matchup to fourth-seeded Mohawk Valley (26-4) only because somebody had to lose. In suffering a season-ending defeat that had fans chewing at their fingertips, the Lady Vikings played championship-caliber basketball.
Freshman guard/forward Lindsey Bradt (Bishop Maginn) controlled the opening tip after a wild scramble for the ball, which featured several players from both teams earning floor burns and was just a hint of the competitive affair that would follow. Bradt, the Region III Player of the Year, went on to score the game's first four points and Hudson Valley's first six points. In fact, she had 11 points in the first half.
The Hawks came on strong before the end of the half though, and finished with a 7-0 run to tie the game at 22 points apiece. Hudson Valley, meanwhile, enjoyed a 9-0 two-minute stretch with five minutes to go and never trailed in the first half. The Lady Vikings forced 11 Mohawk Valley turnovers, recorded six steals and picked up five offensive rebounds.
The score went back-and-forth for the entire second half; there were 19 lead changes in the final 20 minutes. With 6:20 remaining, Mohawk Valley attempted to deflate Hudson Valley with a 3-pointer, taking a 45-43 lead and bringing the crowd to its feet. Not to be outdone, Hudson Valley's second-year co-captain, guard/forward Kara Sheehan (Catholic Central), nailed a trey of her own, giving the Lady Vikings a one-point edge and silencing Mohawk Valley's fans.
Then, with 2:00 left and Hudson Valley trailing 48-46, freshman center Meagan Squires (Hoosic Valley) took a pass in the paint from point guard Megan Davis (Greenwich) and spun to the basket, shedding her defender, laying the ball in and tying the game again.
Neither team scored until 1:59 later, when a Mohawk Valley player hit a running jumper despite a swarming Hudson Valley defense. On the possession, the Lady Vikings tipped a pass, blocked a shot and nearly forced a jump ball, but Mohawk Valley somehow managed to score. Hudson Valley, trailing by two points, called took a timeout with one second on the clock.
The Lady Vikings huddled around Ferris and drew up a play. Sophomore guard/forward Nicole Cotugno (Rensselaer), who doubles as a softball player, then inbounded the ball from underneath Hudson Valley's basket, launching it to halfcourt, where a leaping Bradt hauled it in. Bradt, with two defenders on her, turned, dribbled once and threw up a potential game-winning shot. The ball hit the backboard and caught the front of the rim before bouncing loose as the buzzer sounded.
Bradt finished with a game-high 17 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Squires contributed 10 points, seven rebounds, three blocks and three steals. Sheehan had 10 points, seven rebounds and three steals.
Hudson Valley, 7-18 a year ago, finishes the season ranked second in the nation among NJCAA Division teams.
MOHAWK VALLEY COMMUNITY COLLEGE 50
HUDSON VALLEY COMMUNITY COLLEGE 48
Davis 2-1-6, Hampton 0-1-1, Boyce 1-1-3, Kara Sheehan 4-1-10, Lindsey Bradt 6-4-17, Meagan Squires 5-0-10, Cotugno 0-1-1. Totals 18-9-48.
Bordiuk 1-0-2, Buhrow 2-0-4, Casey 2-2-6, Angelica Dempsey 6-0-16, Kochan 2-0-4, Amanda Mortelette 3-8-14, Thompson 2-0-4. Totals 18-10-50.
Three-point field goals: Hudson Valley 3 – Davis 1, Sheehan 1, Bradt 1. Mohawk Valley 4 – Dempsey 4.