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Oneonta girls oust Olean for berth in state Class B championship

By By BRIAN SANDLER

TROY, N.Y. (WKTV) - Making its first state Final Four appearance in 10 years Friday morning, the top-ranked and undefeated Oneonta girls basketball team did not disappoint.  The Lady Yellowjackets routed No. 3-ranked Olean from Section VI 55-31 in the Class B semfinals at Hudson Valley Community College, earning a berth in Saturday's championship.

Unlike their state regional game in which Hamilton College-bound Madie Harlem scored 30 of the team's 36 points, the Lady Yellowjackets' semifinal effort was much more balanced with Harlem scoring 20 and sister Lesley and Sienna Wisse each scoring 10.  Relying almost exclusively on jumpshots to avoid Olean's inside defense, Oneonta shot 44.9% from the field (15-for-33 on two-pointers and 7-for-16 on threes) while holding the Lady Huskies to just 22.5% (8-for-30 inside the arc and 1-for-10 outside).

Oneonta, now 25-0, will face No. 2-ranked Nanuet from Section I in the Class B championship Saturday at HVCC at 4:00.  Nanuet (19-6) defeated No. 4-ranked Northeastern Clinton (22-3) from Section VII 72-51.

The Lady Yellowjackets jumped out quickly at the start of the game with Madie Harlem scoring seven straight points en route to a 12-0 lead.  After stretching it to 14-2, Olean responded with an 11-0 run to get within one.  But Oneonta responded in kind with an 11-0 run of its own spanning into the second quarter and held a 32-20 advantage at halftime.

The third quarter was slow offensively on both sides until a late burst by Oneonta made it 41-26 going into the fourth quarter, then the Lady Yellowjackets took off on a 10-1 run to put the game away.

In addition to the points, Wisse had six rebounds and three assists and Lesley Harlem dished out four assists.

Rachel Kasperski led Olean (22-4) with 11 points.

Oneonta will be going for its third state championship on Saturday.  The first two came back-to-back in 1997 and 1998.

 

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