By Ted Waddell
LAKE HUNTINGTON December 28, 2004 It was a close shave as the home team hoopsters came a whisker away from beating the defending Section IX Class A girls basketball champs.
On Wednesday night, the visiting Cornwall Lady Dragons squeaked by the Lady Bulldogs of Sullivan West, 47-45, in a non-league game that went right down to the wire.
Although Cornwall (5-2) racked up a 26-23 lead in the first half and outscored the Lady Bulldogs by 10 points (17-7) in the third period, SW staged a 12-7 rally in the final frame to come within a three points of walking off the floor with a win.
Instead, the Lady Bulldogs suffered their first loss of the season.
Cornwall Coach Tito Maisonet handed off the post-game interview to Assistant Coach Brian Ferraro.
It was a rough game, Ferraro said. There was a lot of intensity
Sullivan West is a good ball club, and we struggled a little bit early on.
He said it will be back to the proverbial drawing board for the Lady Dragons as far as free throws are concerned. Cornwall was just 2-of-9 at the foul line.
We matched their intensity, SW Coach Ron Bernhardt said. We had a lot of opportunities to win, but we squandered them and made some critical mental errors.
In tallying up the lost opportunities in the closing minutes of the contest, Bernhardt said he watched the Lady Dragons grab a couple putbacks off the glass and sink a wide open 3- pointer.
SW (6-1) had two hoopsters reach double figures. Junior guard Kate Fanning scored a team-high 11 points and senior guard Heather Lander netted 10 points.
Cornwall sophomore center/forward Jenni Bailey proved she was a force to contend with under the boards and elsewhere on the court as she scored a game-high 16 points.
As noted previously, the Lady Dragons converted just 2-of-9 free throws (22 percent) on the evening. However, the Lady Bulldogs fared much better at the foul line, making 13-of-18 (72 percent).