Liz Millea’s hot start led to a big finish for the Cooperstown girls basketball team, which cruised to a 59-45 victory over visiting Herkimer in a Section Three Class C quarterfinal Tuesday.
Millea scored eight of her game-high 32 points in the opening quarter, which ended with the fifth-seeded Hawkeyes ahead, 20-7.
Millea hit 10 field goals -- including three from three-point range -- and went 9-for-12 from the foul line. She scored 12 of Cooperstown’s 15 points in the fourth quarter, when she made 5 of 8 free throws.
“Herkimer was scrappy and played hard,” Cooperstown coach Mike Niles said of the 13th-seeded Magicians (8-12), who pulled to 29-21 at halftime. “They kept hanging around.”
Mallory Arthurs had five points and two steals in the third quarter, helping the Hawkeyes (14-6) maintain the momentum with a 15-7 run in the period.
Ciarra McGoldrick grabbed 10 rebounds for Cooperstown (14-6), which received eight points, eight rebounds and four blocks from Lucy Ford.
Hannah DeLude scored 11 points for Herkimer, which received 10 apiece from Chelsea Jory and Mackenzie Pine and nine from Lillie Williams.
Cooperstown advanced to a Section Three Class C semifinal at 1:45 p.m. Sunday at Onondaga Community College. The Hawkeyes will play top-seeded Little Falls or No. 8 seed Waterville, who play their sectional quarterfinal at Little Falls at 7 tonight.
Cooperstown’s semifinal will be the second end of a doubleheader Sunday at OCC, which also will host a noon semifinal between 10th-seeded Weedsport and No. 3 Fabius-Pompey.
Sunday’s winners will play for the Section Three Class C championship Feb. 28 at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.