Tuesday, March 6, 2012
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — The quest for its first-ever Class C state title continued for John A. Coleman Catholic High girls basketball team as the Stateswomen survived a 49-44 tussle with Section 1 champion Alexander Hamilton Tuesday at the Westchester County Center.
Section 9 titlist Coleman, which played very few close games during the season, trailed until midway through the third quarter and played most of the fourth with two of its top players, Makenzie Burud and Lauren Melville, in foul trouble.
The unbeaten Stateswomen (22-0), winners of two state Class D crowns, advance to Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. regional final at SUNY New Paltz against the Long Island champion, either Southold or Friends Academy.
Coleman committed costly turnovers in the early going and were down by as many as nine points before regrouping in the second half.
Melville’s basket with 4:40 left in the third gave the Stateswomen their first lead of the game and erased an 8-point halftime deficit.
Hamilton (17-4) retook the lead and was ahead 39-36 with six minutes remaining.
But Coleman rallied back and grabbed the lead for good at 40-39 on Kate Shults’ baseline jumper with 3:51 to play and held on after Burud fouled out with just more than two minutes left in the game.
Key free throws by Emily and Nicole Curley, along with clutch baskets by Shults and Shannon Gildea sealed the victory for the Stateswomen.
Burud and Melville shared team-high honors for Coleman with 12 points apiece.
Maia Hood (16 points) and Amani Lightbourne (14) were the top scorers for Hamilton.