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Local Sports

March 3, 2014

Franklin girls come together for second straight title

ONEONTA — Jordan Beers and Marisa Cawley did it again, but they didn’t do all by themselves this time.

Point guard Beers finished with a game-high 28 points and center Cawley contributed 15 on Saturday as Franklin successfully defended its Section Four Class D girls basketball title with a 62-42 drubbing of Southern Cayuga.

The top-seeded Chiefs of the Interscholastic Athletic Conference — and likely everyone else at Oneonta State’s Dewar Arena — certainly expected big games from seniors Beers and Cawley, who are averaging roughly 25 and 17 points, respectively, this season.

But five others — Mariah McNeilly, Jessie Downin, Mara Stalter, Paige Fairchilds and Sabra Warner — blindsided the Chiefs by combining for the other 19 points to nearly match the Purple Devils’ margin of victory.

“You’ve got to give their other girls credit. They stepped up,” SC coach Ed Heslop said. “You tally that up and that’s pretty much where the difference is. We had some good looks that didn’t go in and they had some girls who don’t normally make shots make them, so give those girls credit.”

Beers got off to a hot start with 13 points in the first quarter, which ended with the third-seeded Tri-Valley League champions ahead, 19-9. Beers opened the scoring 9 seconds into the final with a mid-range pull-up banker from the left side of the paint.

Again, nothing new.

But moments after the Chiefs (19-3) threw their first possession out of bounds, Franklin gave notice that its performance would be more than a one- or two-girl show. Stalter received an interior pass on the right block and flipped it backwards to McNeilly, who swished a short shot from the baseline for a 4-0 lead 42 seconds after the opening tip.

Cawley made the next two Franklin baskets and Beers scored the Purple Devils’ last 11 points of the period, going 5-for-5 from the foul line in the process.

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