“She obviously draws a lot of attention,” Miller said of Durr, whose passes set up two three-pointers by Anari Harris and one from Jaclyn Hajec as UND outscored the Yellowjackets, 16-3, during the third quarter. “We have 10 eyes on her defensively the entire time, we help like crazy. She’s almost 6 feet tall and has great court vision. With that much attention on her, you can lose track of the other kids and she’s good about penetrating and making other people help. She passes over the top of us and she can hurt you in a lot of different ways. She’s their Mariah Ruff.”
When eighth-grader Claire Sehring hit a layup off a feed from Durr 25 seconds into the fourth quarter, Oneonta’s deficit was 39-25.
Game over, or so it seemed.
Now, OHS has made several memorable comebacks during Ruff’s time in win-or-go-home situations. As a freshman, she helped lead the Yellowjackets back from a 17-point, second-quarter deficit against Cazenovia, a Class B state quarterfinal OHS lost, 62-58, in overtime. Oneonta rallied from 14 down in the third quarter against state power Irvington last season before falling, 55-53, in a state semifinal against a squad that went on to win its fourth straight state title.
Even last week, as OHS won its seventh straight sectional title, the Yellowjackets faced a 10-point, third-quarter deficit against Norwich before rallying for a 51-44 victory.
But a 14-point deficit with under seven minutes left seemed too tall, even for this program.
“You never want your season to end and we saw it ending right before us,” said OHS senior center Brittney Herrick, who finished with 11 points. “We knew we had to come back and do everything we could. I’m so proud of everyone because we did such a good job.”