DELHI — South Kortright had the looks that killed Friday night at SUNY Delhi’s Clark Field House.
And almost all of them were open.
“Everyone on this team can shoot,” said guard Brianna Laing, an eighth-grader who scored a game-high 16 points to lead the Rams to a 59-41 victory over Davenport in the Delaware League girls basketball championship game. “We don’t ever look for someone specific.”
That’s why four SK players scored in the first quarter, which ended with the Rams ahead, 21-2.
Laing keyed the Rams’ 14-0 run to start the game by hitting two open three-pointers inside the first three minutes. She had eight points at the end of the quarter, which featured all six of senior forward Kayla Craft’s points, four of senior forward Miquela Hanselman’s 11 points and a three-pointer by freshman guard Tori Rockefeller.
“They’re No. 1 in the state for a reason,” said Davenport coach Ray Preston, who entered the title game with a chance to become the winningest girls basketball coach in New York state history. “The balance, they got us early. We didn’t identify shooters early and we didn’t make anything.”
Rockefeller hit the second of her three three-pointers 45 seconds into the second period, giving the Rams (18-0) what appeared to be an insurmountable 24-4 lead.
The Wildcats (15-3) didn’t give in, though, as six points from Sam Maidens contributed to a 14-7 spurt that pulled Davenport to 28-16 at halftime.
The Wildcats got points from five players in the first 4:05 of the third quarter and closed to 32-26 with a 10-4 run capped by Sarah Haight’s layup off an inbounds pass.
Hanselman put the Rams back in control by swishing an open three-pointer from the top of the key 22 seconds later, though.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t sustain that comeback,” said Preston, who is 619-164 in 34 seasons as Davenport’s head coach. His career win total is tied with retired Red Hook coach John Kuhn for the most in New York. “They went down and hit a three and I looked up and (their lead) went to nine. Then it went to 15 and I said, ‘Oh no.’”