Just a year ago the Cambridge Indians, with three freshman in their starting lineup made a surprising run to the girls basketball state final four, where they fell 56-52 to Millbrook in the semi’s. Despite losing five seniors from that squad, Cambridge returned a talented seven and the goal for the Indians this season was another mid-March trip to Troy.
Lofty aspirations for a roster that includes five sophomores and a pair of freshman, with an all underclassman starting five, but on Friday they’ll face Maple Grove from Section VI at HVCC in a 3:15 tip with the winner advancing to play for a state title.
Cambridge has rolled to a 23-1 mark this year with their only blemish a 61-57 loss to Hoosic Valley in December. The Indians average margin of victory this season is 25 points, scoring 60.5 while allowing 35.4 defensively.
The 3-pointer is a big part of their game with 145 hits from deep and four players with at least 25 makes from beyond the arc.
Offensive stats are nice but what separates Cambridge is their ability to turn opponents over on the defensive end, which fuels their transition game producing extended runs that steamroll the opposition.
Sophmore guard Sophie Phillips leads the Indians in scoring at 17.0 points nightly, with her twin sister Lily scoring 15.5 points and freshman Stasia Epler adding 8.0 points per game. Also, starting forward Fiona Mooney, absent from the Indians lineup throughout the postseason with a wrist injury, will dress for Cambridge this weekend.
Maple Grove, making their first final four appearance in program history, enters with a 21-3 mark, fresh off a 44-38 victory over Oakfield-Alabama in the regional final.
The Red Dragons score 57 points per contest and give up 39.6 defensively.
Maple Grove has a balanced scoring attack led by junior Bre Hill at 12.5 points, senior Courtney Hemminger 11.0 points, senior Marissa Schuppenhuer 10.2 points and freshman Sam Snow at 8.2 points per game.
Both Cambridge and Maple Grove played quality regular season schedules which prepared them well for their post season runs.
Cambridge, after playing their regional games in Plattsburg and Potsdam, will enjoy the short trip to Troy for Friday’s semifinal, while the Red Dragons travel in from the western part of the state.
While I’m sure the Maple Grove fan base will travel well, you know the Indians faithful will fill the seats at HVCC in a sea of orange supporting a young and talented Cambridge squad that’s fought their way back to a state semifinal, and will look to cap a remarkable winter campaign this weekend with a pair of W”s and state basketball championship.