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Local Sports

March 16, 2013

Jackets go down swinging

Overcome huge deficit before falling, 55-53, in state semi

(Continued)

Minnie Webster briefly stopped Irvington’s momentum by turning a steal into a layup 1:55 before halftime, but Martins scored inside over Vanderlaan-Meyering and then hit a driving layup as the Bulldogs took a 29-16 advantage into halftime.

About the only bright spot for OHS in the second quarter was that Lai was whistled for her third foul 1:25 before halftime. Lai, who scored a team-high 20 points, closely guarded Ruff throughout the first half and limited her to five points.

To start the second half, Maher called on Lauren Chafizdeh to guard Ruff — a move the Yellowjackets’ point guard apparently found to her liking.

Ruff scored 12 points in the third quarter as OHS outscored the Bulldogs, 22-12, to pull to 41-38.

Before the second half was two minutes old, Ruff equaled her output in the first half. She hit a three from left of the key and then a driving layup, the latter making the score 31-21.

But Irvington answered with four straight points, taking its biggest lead — at 35-21 — on a fastbreak layup by Chafizdeh with 5 ½ minutes left in the quarter.

A 13-4 OHS run ensued, including eight points by Hayley Dower that came over a span of 2:05.

Dower hit a pair of wing threes and then made a 17-footer off the dribble, that basket making it 39-33 with a 1:30 left in the quarter.

“We were just pushing the ball quickly,” Dower said of Oneonta’s big third quarter. “We got some open shots and we were moving the ball.”

When Ruff hit a three from left of the key, Oneonta’s deficit was 39-36 with 45 seconds left in the third.

But Ruff saved what was perhaps her prettiest basket of the day for the end of the quarter. With Lai back-guarding her, Ruff showed off her ball-handling skills, going between the legs and using several crossover dribbles before beating Lai down the right side of the lane for a layup just before the quarter buzzer. That basket, much to the delight of the heavy throng of OHS supporters in attendance, made the score 41-38.

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