By ROB JONAS
TROY – Cambridge reached the Section 2 Class C girls basketball final behind twin sisters Lilly and Sophie Phillips, but to win the championship, the Indians needed others to come through.
McKayla McLenithan and Ruth Nolan eah scored nine points to compliment Sophie Phillips’ 25-point performance to help Cambridge rally past Hoosick Falls 55-49 in the Class C final Friday, March 1, at Hudson Valley Community College.
The Indians trailed throughout much of the game before taking a 45-44 lead on a Nolan three-pointer midway through the fourth quarter. Cambridge increased its advantage to five points before a Grace Wysocki three-pointer and a putback by Logan Thayne tied the score at 49-49.
Hoosick Falls fouled McLenithan with less than one minute left in regulation. The sophomore forward missed the first foul shot, but she made the second to put Cambridge ahead for good.
“I just knew I had to make the shot,” said McLenithan. “If I didn’t, I knew we would still have a chance at the end.”
Nolan, Lilly Phillips and Sophie Phillips also made free throws in the final minute to give Cambridge its second consecutive Section 2 title.
“Free throws have been kind of a Jekyl and Hyde thing for us,” said Cambridge head coach Robert Phillips. “I think we shoot the ball better from the foul line when the game is on the line.”
Cambridge started the game strong with four straight points, but three-pointers from Wysocki and Lillian Hickey helped Hoosick Falls build a 29-24 halftime lead. The Panthers maintained a solid cushion through the third quarter before the Indians rallied in the fourth quarter.
Thayne had 18 points, and Hickey contributed 14 points for Hoosick Falls, which sought to win the Section 2 title as a No. 7 seed.
“We were putting our energy into monitoring the Phillips twins. Wherever they were, we were,” said Hoosick Falls head coach Ken Facin. “The difference was they made their free throws to pull away.”
Cambridge advances to the Class C subregional against Section 10 champion Madrid-Waddington Tuesday, March 5, at Shenendehowa High School.
Photos by Rob Jonas. Copyright 2019 by Capital Region HS Sports.