ONEONTA – Southern Cayuga’s pressure defense combined with the penetration of Jessie and Emily Kopp proved too much for Schenevus on Wednesday night.
Jessie Kopp scored a game-high 16 points, one more than Emily, as the top-seeded Chiefs advanced to the Section Four Class D girls basketball title game with a 57-43 victory over the fourth-seeded Dragons at Oneonta State.
“Usually, that’s our main focus,” said Jessie Kopp of her team’s dribble penetration. “We’re a pretty quick team. It’s what we’ve been trained to do by our coach. We really like to drive.”
Jessie Kopp’s penetration resulted in her taking 16 trips to the free throw line. She made 12 of them, including a pair with 4 minutes, 25 seconds left that gave the Chiefs a 51-40 lead. Schenevus never got the deficit below 11 points thereafter.
Emily Kopp, who also had 15 rebounds, made three driving layups and converted three putbacks during her night.
“Their penetration was awesome,” said Schenevus coach Tim Walke, whose team ended its season at 15-5.
The Chiefs (19-2) will play a familiar foe in Saturday’s 6:30 p.m. title game back at O-State. Third-seeded Franklin (19-0), the defending sectional champions, defeated No. 2 South Kortright, 39-30, in the second semifinal Wednesday at O-State. Last season, in a sectional semifinal against SC, Franklin standout Jordan Beers scored 38 points to lead the Purple Devils to a 70-36 victory over the Chiefs.
“We’d like to see Jordan Beers again,” Jessie Kopp said before the Franklin-SK game started. “She kind of dominated the last time we came to Oneonta. We’d like to play them again.”
Perhaps equally decisive to their penetration Wednesday for the Chiefs was their suffocating baseline-to-baseline defense that seemed to wear on Schenevus as the game progressed. It also resulted in 24 Schenevus turnovers – 17 coming in the first half.