Becker needed 17 seconds to put the Mounties back on top, hitting one of her four three-pointers for a 44-41 lead. Although Cooperstown failed to regain the advantage, the Hawkeyes tied the score two more times in the final period. Millea scored off a turnover to make it 48-all with 2:46 left, then made a pair of free throws with 2:05 to play for a 50-50 tie.
Little Falls held the defending Section Three Class C champions scoreless the rest of the way to earn its third victory of the season over the Hawkeyes (14-7).
Millea finished with 18 points and seven rebounds for Cooperstown, which jumped to a 12-6 lead in the first quarter but gave up two straight two-pointers to end the period. The Mounties pulled to 24-23 at halftime, then took control with an 18-10 advantage in the third quarter. Although Millea scored the first basket of the second half, Little Falls followed with an 18-3 run en route to a 41-34 lead after three quarters.
“We showed a lot of guts,” said Niles, who added that Little Falls had big runs in the third quarters of their first two meetings as well. “I thought they had such a strong effort. They made their run in the third quarter and we came all the way back. When you get right down to it, it was a pretty classic game between Cooperstown and Little Falls in the sectional playoffs.”
Hall contributed 16 points and fellow senior Lucy Ford finished with eight points, nine rebounds and four blocks, who also will lose S.J. Morosko to graduation.
“I hate to have it end for our seniors,” said Niles, whose team is the first this season to lose by single digits to Little Falls. “Maggie had a great game. She is such a complete player and she’s a great defender. I don’t think we would have been in it without her.”