This time, it went in Horseheads’ direction.
The girls basketball teams from Oneonta High and Horseheads met in the Southern Tier Athletic Conference playoffs for the fourth straight year Wednesday and the host Blue Raiders rallied for a 55-52 semifinal victory in overtime.
It marks third time in four years the squads have needed overtime to decide things. Last season, the Yellowjackets won the STAC championship with a 57-56 win against the Blue Raiders on a three-pointer by Minnie Webster with four seconds left in OT.
A year earlier, OHS scored eight points in the final minute to beat Horseheads, 61-55, in a STAC semifinal. In 2011, the Jackets downed HH, 49-47, in OT in the semifinals.
“It’s an absolute battle when we play each other,” OHS coach Matt Miller said.
The Yellowjackets’ streak of three straight STAC finals appearances ended. OHS lost to Binghamton in 2011 and 2012 championship games.
Miller said his squad held an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter Wednesday.
“We played well in stretches,” Miller said. “Unfortunately, in the fourth quarter we struggled. I have to shoulder the responsibility. I didn’t do a good job. I could have put the kids in better spots. We had horrible time in the last minute-and-a-half. We were up six and we had a lot of trouble inbounding the ball.”
Amanda Schiefen, a 6-foot-1 left-hander, forced overtime by hitting a shot in the lane with one second left.
“We knew they would go to her,” Miller said of Schiefen, who also forced overtime in last year’s STAC final by hitting a shot in the lane off an inbounds play late in regulation. “We put (Mariah) Ruff on her, but she got loose. She caught it high and forced OT. She’s a tough kid.”
Schiefen, who finished with a team-high 14 points, also hit two key free throws late in overtime that helped the Blue Raiders seal the victory.