PLATTSBURGH — The Section VII Class B girls’ basketball final between rivals Plattsburgh High and Beekmantown should be an interesting matchup.
The two teams split their regular-season series, as the Eagles defeated the Hornets in the first game 48-43, while Plattsburgh took the second game 67-56.
The Hornets, a more veteran team, feed off of their defensive tenacity and love to shoot the ball behind the arc.
The team has all five starters from last season back and is led by a seasoned senior group that includes team scoring leader Marle Curle, Brin Keyser, Olivia Carlsson and Cierra Duquette.
“We have a core of four seniors this season, three of which have been playing together for the last two years,” coach Joe Staves said. “Our experience helps us; we understand each other pretty well.”
Curle has been the Hornets’ best player all season. She averages 22.2 points per game, leads the team in 3-point shooting, shares ball-handling duties at the point and also is used to defend the other team’s best offensive player.
“She has played very hard defense all year,” Staves said. “We asked her to work hard defensively and rebound.”
Beekmantown, on the other hand, has just one senior on its roster. However, the Eagles returned eight players, including all five starters, from last year’s squad that played in the Class B final.
“Yes we are a young team, but we were in the finals last year, so hopefully that experience will help us this time out,” coach Greg Waters said.
Sophomore Shannon Ryan, who has led the Eagles all season, is averaging nearly 24 points a game. The 6-foot-3 Ryan is a force on the block and on the boards. In her first game this season against Plattsburgh, Ryan recorded 27 points in the victory. In the second matchup, Ryan tied her season high with 38 points as the Eagles lost on the road.
Sophomore Grace Kelly leads the Eagles at the point and is second on the team in scoring with just over nine points per game.
“They have a great player in Shannon Ryan and a great point guard in Grace Kelly,”
Staves said. “Not a lot of people realize how good Grace Kelly is for that team; she is a great ball handler.”
Offensively for Beekmantown, it is no secret what they are going to try to do, which is take advantage of their height and work the ball inside to Ryan, and 6-foot-1 teammate Emily Anderson.
“We try to do a good job with our entries into the post and have good ball reversal,” Waters said. “We try to get the ball inside as much as we can.”
Going into this week of practice however, Waters stressed half-court defense will be the key in defeating the Hornets.
“We are going to try and play overall better defense against Plattsburgh,” Waters said. “A lot of players on their team have stepped up throughout the year. We just have to focus as a team and play good defense.”
Even though Beekmantown has the clear height advantage, Staves is confident in the game plan the Hornets have been using all season.
“We need to continue to do what has gotten us to where we’re at,” Staves said. “I try not to make big changes for one game; I think that is asking a little bit too much.”
As for Waters, he said the Eagles are “very focused on the game plan” and are “excited” for the rematch against the Hornets.
GP FG FT P AVG
Curle 19 150 75 422 22.2
Carlsson 19 78 1 184 9.7
Dragoon 19 44 12 105 5.5
Keyser 19 33 18 86 4.5
Marlow 17 28 2 58 3.4
Curle 19 47
Carlsson 19 27
Duquette 18 8
Carper 17 6
Dragoon 19 5
GP FG FT P AVG
Ryan 19 196 60 452 23.8
Kelly 19 52 55 179 9.4
Anderson 13 42 14 98 7.5
Barcomb 19 15 15 45 2.4
Wilson 17 18 4 40 2.4
Kelly 19 20
Guynup 18 1
LaFountain 18 1
McKinnley 19 1
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