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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, February 11, 2010

Lady Bulldogs get a piece of first place with huge win

By Jordan J. Michael

SCOTIA –– The Berne-Knox-Westerlo girls’ basketball team didn’t need overtime to beat Schenectady Christian this time.

The first meeting of the season between the two Western Athletic Conference rivals on Jan. 8 in Berne went to double overtime. The Lady Bulldogs won that contest, 57-49, in thrilling fashion.

On Friday, at the Falcons’ beautiful new gym, BKW played well under pressure for an impressive 57-to-50 win. The victory forced a three-way tie for first in the Western Athletic Conference South among the Bulldogs, Schenectady Christian, and Duanesburg. Each team had an 8-3 league record with one game remaining.

The Bulldogs traveled to Middleburgh for its last regular season game on Tuesday and won, 51-29. Since Duanesburg lost, BKW is the Western Athletic Conference South champions.

 “Everyone was ready to roll tonight because there was a lot on the line,” said Head Coach Tom Galvin after Friday’s game. “It was nip and tuck all the way. This was a chance for us to look like champs and we stepped up.”

Freshman Liz Harvey and junior Marian Bates each scored 20 points to lead BKW. Harvey and Bates have been putting up big numbers for the team all year and Harvey is in the top five for scoring in Section II.

“Schenectady Christian is a good team, but they’re not that great,” said Harvey, sounding confident. “Losing against them is never an option.”

The Falcons had a handful of steals in the first quarter and seemed to be handling the Bulldog attack quite well. Schenectady Christian had a 13-to-9 lead and senior Heidi Frazer’s stellar play was mostly responsible.

To start the second quarter, Bates made a high arching jumper and Harvey made a strong move in the lane to tie the game at 13. The Falcons answered with an open three from Rachael Brush. Samantha Harvey gave BKW a four-point lead with a rebound put back. The team went to halftime with a 29 to 26 lead after Liz Harvey sunk a three- pointer.

Schenectady Christian got close to tying the game at a few different times in the second half, but the Bulldogs wouldn’t let its guard down.

“There have been times where we’ve let down in the second half this season,” Bates said. “But we didn’t let that get to our heads this time.”

Even though BKW didn’t let the Falcons grab the lead, the team wasn’t getting much scoring in the third quarter. Almost five minutes went by before Bates made two free throws. Luckily, for the Bulldogs, Schenectady Christian wasn’t scoring much either.

BKW eventually opened up and started hitting shots. Bates and Liz Harvey hit big three-pointers and the team had a 42-to-33 lead.

“I had to call a time-out because we needed a basket and needed to regroup,” said Galvin. “The girls took a deep breath and relaxed after that.”

Early in the fourth quarter, Bates showed an amazing amount of hustle by stealing the ball at half court and racing down for a lay-up, only to make the same exact play again after the Falcons inbounded the ball. That sequence put the Lady Bulldogs up by 12.

Coach Galvin told The Enterprise that Bates was carrying out a defensive turn drill that the team practices often. “That was a definite game changer,” he said.

Schenectady Christian closed the gap to three points because it kept getting second- chance opportunities off the offensive glass. However, BKW guarded its lead by making free throws down the stretch.

“We’ve stayed consistent all year,” said Liz Harvey. “We usually can count on a win if we play to our potential.”

The Lady Bulldogs will head into the Class C sectionals with a 13-3 record. In 2009, the team won a share of the league title, but was beaten in the first round by Hoosic Valley.

“We got a bad draw last time,” said Galvin on Friday. “The best thing we can do is stay grounded.”

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