BINGHAMTON -- Never during this 7-year run of sectional playoff supremacy have Oneonta High’s girls faced a 10-point deficit, much less midway through the third quarter.
And not once during that span -- one that has included 20 successive sectional triumphs -- have the OHS girls relied on man-to-man defense to get them to a championship.
That all changed Saturday night before a big crowd at the Broome County Arena.
The top-seeded Yellowjackets made a defensive switch that carried them to a 51-44 victory over rival Norwich in the Section Four Class B final.
Fourth-year coach Matt Miller called a timeout with 4 minutes, 47 seconds left in the third quarter with his squad trailing, 33-23. He switched from zone to man and the Yellowjackets embarked on a 22-0 run that resulted in the squad’s sixth straight Section Four Class B title, to go with a Class A sectional crown OHS won in 2008 that started the streak -- one that is three longer than any other in Section Four girls basketball history.
“It’s really nerve racking to be down that much,” said senior center Brittney Herrick, who scored 10 of her 16 points during the decisive spurt. “I knew when we brought our energy, the game would follow.”
And so it did.
Ahead for the Yellowjackets (18-2) is a noon tip-off this coming Saturday at Binghamton University’s Events Center for a state quarterfinal against Section Three champion Utica Notre Dame (19-3), which defeated Westhill, 46-39, Friday to win its second straight sectional title.
Standout Emily Durr -- an AAU teammate of OHS’ Mariah Ruff -- scored 23 points for the Jugglers on Friday. Last March, Durr and Ruff put on a memorable display at Onondaga Community College, with Ruff scoring the final seven points of a 57-52 state quarterfinal victory to cap her 28-point night.
Durr is a 2,000-point scorer who’ll play for Division I Iowa State next season.