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Local Sports

March 9, 2013

State-semifinal berths up for grabs

Call it in the air: Heads Cooperstown; tails Harpursville.

That might be the best way to predict who will win Saturday’s Class C girls basketball state quarterfinal at Oneonta State.

“For Cooperstown to win, they’ll have to find a way to slow Miranda (Drummond). If Harpursville is going to win, they’ll have to play some quality defense on the interior. I think it’s a coin flip.”

Those words came from Unatego coach Greg Bonczkowski after his Spartans fell, 62-36, to Harpursville in the Section Four Class C championship game last Saturday at the Broome County Arena in Binghamton.

Bonczkowski faced both teams this season, going 0-1 against Cooperstown and 2-1 against Harpursville.

“Cooperstown has some good, quality guards,” said Bonczkowski, whose team fell, 37-34, to Cooperstown at home Dec. 10. “Their point guard, Liz Millea is solid. Cooperstown does have some size, too, in the (Nicole) Cring girl and (Alannah) Haggerty, so it should be a good matchup. I think it could go either way.”

Bonczkowski is a bit more familiar with the Hornets (18-3), who fell to the Spartans during the regular season and again in a Midstate Athletic Conference Tournament semifinal before getting blown out in the sectional title game. Although Drummond scored 30 points in their first meeting — a 51-44 Unatego victory in early January — the Spartans limited her to 12 points in a 54-50 MAC semi triumph in February.

“She gets it and she goes. She’s a heck of an athlete,” Cooperstown coach Mike Niles said of Drummond, who scored 27 points in the Section Four final. “Drummond was in the paint a lot (last Saturday). I don’t know what her three-point stuff is like or what her range is like, but I passed her in the hall and she’s pretty big and athletic. We’re not going to try to learn a junk defense before Saturday. Whatever situation comes out, if Miranda’s going to be around the rim, we need to have Alannah and Nic there.”

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