“The bottom line, their work ethic is amazing,” Walke of the Chiefs. “They hustle from the time the ball in the air until the end of the game.”
Still, this was anything but easy for SC.
It looked like it might become a laugher when Alex Hetherington hit a pair of rainbow three-pointers from the right wing 20 seconds apart early in the second quarter. The latter gave Southern Cayuga a 20-9 lead 6:55 before halftime.
But then Schenevus went on a 12-3 spurt to end the quarter.
Sierra Bentley scored five of her nine points during the run. She hit a foul-line jumper, a driving layup and a free throw as the Dragons pulled to 23-21 by halftime.
When Ceara Marlow and Kassie Jeffers scored 16 seconds apart early in the third quarter, Schenevus tied that score at 27. Marlow scored inside off a pass from Alyssa Turner to make it 27-25 with 6:15 left in the third quarter.
Then Schenevus beat SC’s pressure as Jeffers made a driving layup and was fouled with 5:59 remaining in the third quarter. Jeffers missed the free throw, but the Dragons were even.
The deadlock didn’t last long. Jessie Kopp hit an elbow jumper with 5 ½ minutes left in the quarter to start a 12-4 Chiefs run.
When Emily Kopp scored on a driving layup, SC had a 37-31 lead with 1:55 to go in the third. Maddie Burns’ baseline jumper extended the lead to eight.
Schenevus made one final run.
Mary Hernandez hit a pair of free throws with 2.1 seconds left in the third quarter and Sarah Mellor made a three-pointer from the left wing off a pass from Marlow six seconds into the fourth quarter as Schenevus pulled to 39-36.
“I think they’re a great team,” Jessie Kopp said of Schenevus. “They never give up. They surprised us. We came in here thinking it would be an easier game, but it was a tough one.”