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Saturday, March 19, 2019: Recapping Friday's NYSPHSAA girls hoops semifinals

   Leading off today: Sophomore center Grace Thybulle hit the go-ahead basket in the final minute and Miranda Farman scored her only point on a free throw with 8.7 seconds left as Irvington pulled out a 42-39 victory over South Jefferson in the NYSPHSAA girls Class B basketball semifinals Friday in Troy.

   Thybulle finished with 18 points and 17 rebounds.

   While never out of striking distance, Irvington trailed for much of the game.

   "We're very lucky to survive," coach Gina Maher said. "This team has grit and they find a way, and I hope to God they can find a way and the luck of the Irish is with us again tomorrow."

   Irvington junior Abby Conklin, who started the game 0-for-10 from the field before making a basket midway through the fourth quarter, hit a game-tying 3-pointer with 1:40 left. South Jefferson did not score for the rest of the game as Irvington finished on a 6-0 run.

   Midlakes moved on from the other Class B semifinal at Hudson Valley Community College by roaring past Canton in the fourth quarter for a 64-45 victory.

   The Screaming Eagles broke open a tight game with a 19-0 scoring run midway through the fourth quarter.

   "This means the world to our girls," coach Nate Rich said. "We came here last year and played a very good Susquehanna Valley team that ended up being the state champions, and we didn't play our best basketball. We were really disappointed in the way we performed last year on the big stage. The girls have been talking about unfinished business all season long, and really wanting to get back and be playing in the final state game this year."

   Midlakes finished 28-for-39 from the free-throw line and Canton was 8-for-14.

   Senior Alaina Forbes, Midlakes' all-time leading scorer, finished with a game-high 28 points and added six steals. Macy Kisner finished with 17 points, 11 rebounds and four steals.

   Class C: Returning to the lineup after a five-week absence due to a broken wrist, Fiona Mooney scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as Cambridge steamed past Maple Grove 75-43 in the semifinals.

   Cambridge shot 55.8 percent from the field to reach the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship game for the first time since 1992.

   Led by the Phillips twins and their combined 43 points (22 by Lilly, 21 by Sophie), Cambridge overwhelmed Maple Grove with a demanding pace through the first three quarters. The Indians forced multiple turnovers and collected 32 rebounds to fuel the transition game. They also went 8-for-9 on 3-pointers before the intermission for a 49-27 lead.

   "You don't expect that type of game this late in the season -- not in the state final four, certainly, but you enjoy it when it comes," first-year coach Bob Phillips said. "But we can't rely on that happening (Saturday)."

   Cambridge will take on 2017 champion Watkins Glen. The Senecas defeated defending champ Millbrook 53-42 in the other semifinal.


   Taylor Kelly scored 18 points and fellow senior Danielle Leszyk had 17 for Watkins Glen, which forced 17 turnovers. Senior Hannah Morse, whose buzzer-beater gave the Senecas their 2017 title, chipped in with 12 assists.

   Millbrook got 28 points and 11 rebounds from Marist-bound junior forward Erin Fox.

   Class D: Edwards-Knox advanced to the first state championship game in program history with a 61-47 victory over previously undefeated South Kortright on the strength of senior Carly Frary's 19 points.

   Three others scored in double figures for the Cougars, who forced 28 turnovers. Lucy Frary finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds and eight of her team's 13 steals.

   "We started moving the ball around really well and were able to stop their inside players," said Carly Frary, who also recorded eight rebounds and two blocks. "Our communication is good and we're a pretty quick team. We may not have all the height but we're definitely fast enough to keep up."

   Franklinville overwhelmed Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons 56-26, setting up a rematch of the 2018 semifinal in which the Panthers defeated Edwards-Knox.

   Canisius-bound junior Dani Haskell outscored Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons by herself with 33 points on a day on which the Panthers shot just 5-for-27 in the first half and 10-for-27 in the second. But Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons had issues of its own, finishing just 6-for-54 from the field.

   Haskell scored the Panthers' last 19 points, including a four-minute stretch of the final quarter when she made three long 3-pointers and accounted for 14 points.

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