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Local Sports

March 8, 2014

Area's best to face tough tests Saturday


Ruff’s averaging 20 points for the 18-2 Yellowjackets, who won their seventh straight Section Four title last Saturday with a come-from-behind, 51-44 victory over Norwich.

Durr’s averaging 24.5 points, to go along team-bests of 6.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists. She scored 23 points in leading the Jugglers (19-3) to their second straight sectional title, a 46-39 victory over Westhill last Friday.

If the state rankings are accurate, the top two Class B teams in the state will be at BU on Saturday. OHS is ranked first and UND is No. 2.

Neither side has lost to a Class B school this season. Oneonta’s losses are to defending Class A state champion Troy and Section Four Class AA champion Horseheads. Utica ND lost to Class AA state-ranked teams Bethlehem and Gates Chili and a split a pair of games against Troy.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the teams are their supporting casts.

The Jugglers returned four starters off of last year’s team, but one of them — Maggie Sehring — suffered a season-ending hand injury during the season. The Yellowjackets graduated four starters after last season.

Anari Harris and Jackie Hajec are the other returning starters for UND. Harris, who scored 10 points against OHS last season, including a pair of three-pointers, is averaging 12.2 points. Hajec is averaging 7.9 points and 6.2 rebounds. Eighth-grader Claire Sehring averages 7.2 points.

Joining Ruff in Oneonta’s starting lineup are seniors Brittney Herrick, Maria DiMartin and Meg Burns, along with junior Brieanna Baker.

“We’ve improved immensely,” Ruff said after Saturday’s win against Norwich at the Broome County Arena. “I remember our first game against Norwich, I had to score 30-something points to keep us alive. The first game, everyone was kind of iffy, but I feel everybody believes in themselves now.”

The numbers support Ruff.

Ruff scored 30 points and everyone else had 23 when OHS opened the season with a 53-46 victory over Norwich. When the same teams met Saturday, Ruff scored 17 points and rest of the team had 34, including respective 16- and 14-point nights from Herrick and DiMartin.

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