Maybe, just maybe, this wasn’t your typical play-in game scenario where the winner can celebrate a sectional victory before being run over by the top seed.
Perhaps 16th-seeded Laurens’ 52-35 Section Four Class D play-in girls basketball victory at home Monday over No. 17 Stamford might have made the tournament’s top seed a tad nervous.
“We’ve already played (second-seeded) South Kortright and (third-seeded) Franklin, so I’m glad we’re somewhere where they don’t know what they’re walking into,” Laurens coach Dean Marble said of Wednesday’s first-round game at No. 1 Southern Cayuga. “I think they’re in a good frame of mind.”
As well Laurens should be.
The Leopards (10-8) have won six of their last seven games — the lone loss coming against defending sectional champion and unbeaten Franklin — and started Monday’s game by outscoring the Indians, 15-1, in the first quarter.
Five Laurens players scored in the quarter, including four apiece from Claire Fraser and Courtney Sherry.
“We were moving the ball really well and got some good looks off of that,” Marble said of his team’s start. “Our defense had a lot of energy and they were cold. Of course, we were on them, but they were missing shots. Nothing went in for them.”
Laurens extended its lead to 24-8 by halftime.
“We’re way better than we were in the first half of the season and maybe the first two-thirds of the season,” Marble said. “We still aren’t shooting well. When they start making some of these shots, that’s when we’ll start having fun.”
Stamford (9-10) outscored Laurns, 19-13, in the third quarter to pull to 37-27. Heather Dunning and Kimi Freer scored six and five points, respectively, in the quarter.
But Charlotte Lee scored all six of her points in the final quarter as Laurens pulled away.