Oriskany responded with an 8-0 run featuring a turnaround bankshot by Graziadei and threes from Brandi Zizzi and Shannon VanShufflin. The difference in the final score actually matched the difference in made three-pointers as Oriskany shot 8-for-29 from behind the arc and Franklin finished 3-for-14.
“Our gameplan was to try to take away that middle and the other girls stepped up for them,” said Beers, who went 11-for-34 from the field, including a 3-for-10 effort from three-point range. “They played really well.”
Franklin’s plan worked wonders on 6-foot-1 center Graziadei, who followed her 31-point performance in the Section Three final with six Saturday. It did leave the perimeter exposed, though, as Brandi Zizzi and VanShufflin sank three three-pointers apiece in the second half.
“If the inside’s getting shut down, we’re really good about stepping up and hitting those shots when we have to hit them,” said Hartwick College-bound Graziadei, who had a team-best 13 rebounds. “I don’t think they love to take those shots, but if they have to, they’ll take them and they’ll hit them.”
Said Dutcher: “We prepared all week for their size and their physicality. ... Really, we were shutting down the paint. In the second half, they weren’t really getting anything inside, we were taking that away from them, but they found the right time to get hot with the threes. They picked a great time to get hot, no doubt about it.”
Brandi Zizzi finished with four threes and a team-best 14 points for the Redskins, who advanced to a state semifinal against Section Nine champion Livingston Manor (8-10) at 9 a.m. Friday at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy.
Oriskany coach Angela Meiss, whose team fell to South Kortright in this round last season, said she wouldn’t be surprised to see Franklin make a deep run next season.