CHITTENANGO, N.Y. (WKTV) - Talk about your hold-your-breath finishes. With a two-point lead and no time left on the clock, the Cooperstown girls basketball team saw Onondaga miss the first of two potentially-game-tying free throws to eek out a 33-31 win in the Section III, Class C-1 semifinals Saturday at Chittenango.
Leading 33-31 with 10.3 seconds left, Cooperstown's Ashley Rowley missed the front end of a 1-and-1 free throw and Onondaga got the rebound. Michelle Matt missed a long wing jumpshot then Geena Brady airballed a mid-range jumper, but with no time left on the clock, Matt was fouled by Molly Pearlman as she tried to put back the miss, giving her two free throws to tie the game. Cooperstown huddled together and some players couldn't bear to watch, but Matt's first shot bounced off the rim, sealing the victory for the Lady Redskins.
Cooperstown, the No. 6 seed and defending champion, will go for an unexpected repeat against the team it beat last year, top-seeded Little Falls, Wednesday at RFA at 7:45. The Lady Redskins defeated the Lady Mounties 53-51 in a battle of undefeated teams the 2008 championship.
The game was a defensive showdown from the start with Cooperstown leading 8-4 after the first quarter and 19-9 at halftime. Onondaga, the No. 2 seed, charged back in the third quarter, out-scoring the Lady Redskins 14-3 to go up 23-22 heading into the fourth. But with 1:35 remaining Cooperstown pulled ahead 30-29 on two free throws by Stephanie Hascup, and the Lady Redskins held on from there.
Emma Ryanmiller led Cooperstown, now 11-11, with nine points while the defense forced 28 turnovers. Brady scored 14 points for Onondaga, which ends the season 15-7.