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Local Sports

March 12, 2013

Shooting keys Jackets' postseason run


Though the guards are hitting the shots, Oneonta’s big people also have contributed.

Saturday’s game was a perfect example. When point guard Ruff would move to a side of the court, UND’s defenders on the weakside would sag off of their players to try to prevent entry passes to center Natalie Vanderlaan-Meyering or forward Kelsey Baker.

That led to Ruff sending three cross-court passes that led to two first-half threes by Webster and one by Dower.

There also was that go-ahead three that Ruff hit with 1:35 left that came off a kick-out from Vanderlaan-Meyering.

SEMI-TOUGH: When the Yellowjackets step on the floor at 10 a.m. Friday in a Class B state semifinal at Hudson Valley CC, they’ll face a mountain of an obstacle.

Section One’s Irvington (21-2) has four starters back from last season and is looking to win its fourth straight Class B state championship.

Included in the Bulldogs’ starting lineup is senior forward Lexi Martins, who will play for Division I Lehigh next season, and senior guard Brittni Lai, who’ll play for Division I Marist next season.

Martins had 25 points and 22 rebounds in Irvington’s 62-41 victory over Southampton in a state quarterfinal Friday at Hofstra. Lai contributed 17 points and five steals.

Oneonta (20-1) played Irvington in the 2010 Class B state final, falling, 54-33. As a freshman, Martins had 15 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks in that game and was named to the all-tournament team.

The only current OHS player who saw action in that game was Dani Nicosia, who scored five points. But it’s highly unlikely senior Nicosia will play this weekend. She’s still recovering from a concussion she suffered early in the season.

Irvington is coached by Gina Maher, who has 583 victories _ 38 behind all-time New York state leader Ray Preston of Davenport. Maher is the winningest coach in Section One history, regardless of gender. This season, she was named the Russell Athletic National Women’s Basketball Coaches Associtation District 2 Coach of the Year. She’ll be an assistant coach for the WBCA High School All-America game April 6 at New Orleans.

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