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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, January 20, 2011

Voorheesville Lady Birds lose on last-second shot by Mechanicville Red Raiders

By Jordan J. Michael

VOORHEESVILLE –– Abby Miaello of Mechanicville was left with some space behind the three-point arch as the final seconds were running down during a tied basketball game at Voorheesville on Friday. Miaello released a perfect shot and laid the home team and its fans to rest.

“I felt really good about the shot after it left my hands,” said Miaello, who scored nine points, seven of which came in the fourth quarter. “I’m not known for shooting like that, but I’m glad it went in. This should give our team a boost.”

The Lady Birds were deflated after Miaello gave the Red Raiders a 47-to-44 lead with only two seconds remaining in regulation play. Melissa Bogart tried a baseball pass from under the basket after Head Coach Bob Baron had drawn up a play, but Amber Miaello, Abby’s twin sister, grabbed the short throw at half court, ending the game.

“That girl made a big shot,” Baron said shortly after the game, realizing that two seconds just wasn’t enough time for Voorheesville. “A really hard play like that just isn’t going to happen.”

Going into Friday’s game, the Birds and the Raiders were tied at 5-2 in the stacked Colonial Council. It was a huge win for Mechanicville, which managed to score only one point in the third quarter.

“That was a very exciting buzzer shot,” said Raiders’ Head Coach Bob Murphy, who didn’t call a timeout after the Birds’ Jennifer Cillis tied the game with a jumper. “I just let the girls go for it because I didn’t want to set anything up.”

Mechanicville was up, 28 to 20, at halftime after Voorheesville committed an array of turnovers in the first half. The Birds came back with relentless defense in the third quarter, holding its opponent to one point, but scoring 12 points. Voorheesville had a 32-to-29 lead going into the last quarter.

“We did work really hard,” said Cillis, a junior, who led the Blackbirds with 15 points. “You can’t question our effort because it was certainly there.”

The two Colonial Council opponents knew the importance of this game because there were four other teams ahead in the league standings.

Baron told The Enterprise that his players “hate to lose,” and that was clearly evident after several players left the gymnasium with red eyes. “We didn’t finish real well and we didn’t take care of the ball,” he said.

Murphy, the Raiders’ coach, knew the toughness of the game coming in because he thought the two teams were “very comparable” in nature. “They had size we didn’t have, but our guard pressure got to them eventually,” he said.

The Red Raiders got an assortment of scoring from its players –– Tess Baker with 10 points, Danielle Manupella with nine, and Amber Miaello with eight points.

Sarah Madden, who made a few important shots for the Birds, scored 12 points.

It was a distressing loss for Voorheesville, but the team is just a few games behind Colonial Council leaders Holy Names and Cohoes, with games against them in hand. Tuesday’s home contest against Cohoes was postponed due to bad winter weather.

“Just get ready for the next one,” Cillis said.

“We’ll go back to work and fix things,” Baron said. “This team is determined and they want to win. You can see that.”

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