Many times a much anticipated game between quality opponents doesn’t deliver. On Tuesday night in Schaghticoke the Cambridge and Hoosic Valley girls didn’t disappoint. In a contest filled with momentum swings and lead changes the game went down to the last possession as the Valley came away with the 61-57 decision over the Indians from the north.
Three-ball prowess was on display by both teams throughout and just 1:30 in Cambridge’s Sophie Phillips buried her first, off the left wing giving the Indians an early 5-0 advantage.
Later in the period it was Phillips with a steal and score followed by a pair of free throws bumping the Cambridge lead to 10-2.
With 4:00 remining in the quarter Hoosic Valley’s Alex Rifenburg bottomed her first trey of the night and on the next Valley possession Sami Dickinson scored on a putback trimming the Cambridge lead to 12-9.
Late in the period Lily Phillips joined the party with a long triple that Rifenburg quickly answered, and the quarter came to a close with another Valley three-ball, this coming off a Renee Serafin release as the first eight minutes belonged to Cambridge at 20-15.
Fiona Mooney scored a pair of inside buckets for Cambridge to start the second and after a Sophie Phillips drive for two the Indians lead was 26-16 with 6:00 left in the half.
But the Valley closed the quarter on a 16-7 run with Rifenburg scoring six, Sam Lanoue five on a triple and a pretty driving deuce off glass, and Emaleigh Peckham adding another make from deep cutting the Cambridge advantage to 33-32 at the break.
The two squads played evenly throughout the third with Dickinson scoring twice inside and Peckham and Anna Jensen drilling long balls for Hoosic Valley, while Mooney and Lily Phillips led the Cambridge attack with four points each as the teams headed to the final period with Cambridge leading 45-44.
The Valley began the fourth on a 9-2 run capped by a Lanoue triple from the top with 4:12 remaining, giving the Indians a six point spread at 53-47.
A Rifenburg putback at the 1:54 mark gave the Valley their biggest lead of the game, an eight point cushion at 57-49, but Cambridge wouldn’t go quietly into the December night.
Mooney drilled a huge three and after a Rifenburg free throw, Sophie scored three the hard way on a bucket and one cutting the Valley lead to 58-55 with :55 left.
After a pair of missed free throws by Dickinson, Lily got to the rack with a quick first step off the left wing and Cambridge trailed by one at 58-57 with :17 remaining.
At the :14 mark Peckham converted on one of two from the line setting up the final Cambridge possession.
After the Valley gave a pair of personal fouls to burn clock, Sophie, with :07 remaining drove it off the right wing but her release at the rim didn’t go nor did her putback attempt, and with one tick on the clock Dickinson went up in traffic securing the rebound, and the “W” for the Indians from the south.
Both squads finished with three players in doubles on the night with Sophie scoring 22, Mooney 17 and Lily 16 points for Cambridge while Rifenburg with 17 points, Dickinson with 14 and Lanoue with 12 points led the Valley attack.
With the loss Cambridge moves to 3-1 on the year, while Hoosic Valley improves to 5-1 with the victory.
Five weeks from now they’ll play the rematch but in the meantime both will contend with a tough Wasaren schedule. And when the scheduled sequel between these two comes around, I’d expect nothing less than another hard fought, 32 minutes of run on that January Friday in Cambridge.