By Rob Potter
LAKE HUNTINGTON February 29, 2008 Good outside shooting helped propel the Sullivan West Lady Bulldogs to a homecourt victory on Wednesday night.
No. 3 seed SW made 10 3-point shots on its way to posting a 59-37 victory over No. 6 seed Pine Plains in a Section IX Class B girls’ basketball quarterfinal game.
With the win, SW advanced to the semifinals to face No. 2 seed John S. Burke Catholic High School. The semifinal game between the Lady Bulldogs and Lady Eagles, who were the Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division IV co-champions, was slated to be played last night at Burke.
SW (17-2) is ranked 12th among Class B teams in the latest New York State Sportswriters Association, while Burke (18-1) is seventh in the poll.
Leading the Lady Bulldogs’ offense against the Lady Bombers was junior forward Lindsey Murphy, who made four shots from beyond the 19-foot, 9-inch arc, and scored a game-high 16 points.
Senior guards Sarah Lander and Jenn Pitz each made a trio of 3-pointers. Lander finished with 15 points, while Pitz scored all of her nine points on those 3-pointers.
Katrina Graby added seven points for the Lady Bulldogs.
SW took a 17-12 lead after the first quarter and expanded its advantage to double digits in the second period. Pitz gave the Lady Bulldogs a 28-19 lead by swishing a 3-pointer with 3:44 remaining until halftime.
Just over two minutes later, Murphy made a 3-pointer to push the SW lead to 12 points.
When the third quarter began, SW picked up where it left off as Pitz and Lander each made a 3-pointer in the first minute of the stanza. Those long range shots gave the Lady Bulldogs a 37-21 lead.
Pine Plains (11-9) tied the game at 11-11 late in the first quarter thanks to consecutive baskets by Sara Woodward.
But after Woodward’s game-tying basket, Lander knocked down a 3-pointer on the next Lady Bulldogs’ possession.
SW then held the lead for the rest of the contest.
“Sullivan West is a very well-coached team,” Pine Plains Coach Dave Mergendahl said. “They were able to get some second shots because of their rebounding.”
Mergendahl praised his team for working hard the entire game.
“I told them no matter what the score was they had to keep competing,” he said. “They certainly didn’t quit playing, so I have no complaints.”
Sara Lindsley led the Lady Bombers with 10 points, while teammates Jessalyn Sweeney and Natalie Feldsine added seven points and six points, respectively.
SW Coach Ron Bernhardt lauded his players for their defensive performance and rebounding.
Vicky Argueta and Rachel Houghtaling each had eight rebounds for the Lady Bulldogs, while Graby grabbed six rebounds and Lander had five rebounds.
Lander and Pitz each had five assists.
“The team defense was very good tonight,” Bernhardt said. “Sarah [Lander] did an outstanding job guarding [Jessalyn] Sweeney.
“We are just happy to move on and play another game,” he added.