By Rob Potter
LIVINGSTON MANOR In their two Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Div. VI games this season, the Livingston Manor Lady Wildcats defeated the Chapel Field Lady Lions on the way to earning the division title.
To reach the Section IX Class D championship game, however, No. 2 seed Manor would have to defeat No. 3 seed Chapel Field for the third time this winter.
The Lady Wildcats recorded that third victory over the Lady Lions by the final score of 47-29 in Thursday night’s semifinal game at Livingston Manor Central School.
Manor was slated to meet No. 1 seed John A. Coleman Catholic for the Class D crown last night at SUNY New Paltz. (Please see coverage of that championship contest in this Friday’s issue.)
But the Lady Lions did their best to register an upset victory on Thursday night.
Chapel Field (3-15) grabbed a 5-0 lead early in the first quarter as senior guard Britney Hoyt swished a long jump shot and fellow senior guard Michelle Larson made a 3-pointer.
Hoyt made a 3-point shot of her own with 1:53 left in the quarter to give the Lady Lions an 8-4 advantage.
Just 12 seconds later, Manor’s Monay Allen scored thanks to an assist from Maggi Calo to make it an 8-6 game.
Five seconds into the second period, Larson swished another shot from beyond the arc to push the Chapel Field lead back to five at 11-6.
During the next three minutes, Allen and teammate Marissa Diescher each netted two baskets to give Manor a 14-11 lead.
After Chapel Field took a 15-14 advantage on a basket by Chloe Solomon, Allen scored after grabbing a rebound to give the Lady Wildcats a 16-15 lead with 2:38 remaining until halftime.
Manor began the third quarter with a 12-0 run to extend its advantage to 13 points at 28-15. The run was keyed by defensive pressure and two baskets by Christine Babich and two baskets by Angela Zayas.
Early in the fourth period, Solomon made a jump shot to cut the Manor lead back to seven. But on the next Manor possession, Paige Clancy swished a 3-point shot to again extend the home team’s lead to double digits.
The Manor offense was led by Diescher, who scored 14 points, and Allen, who recorded 13 points. Babich finished with eight points.
“It was a great team defensive effort,” Manor Coach Kevin Clifford said.
Clifford praised Zayas in particular for the way she played defense.
“She is often the first player to come into the game from off the bench,” he said. “She’s a great on-the-basketball defender.”
Hoyt and Larson led Chapel Field with 12 points and 11 points, respectively.
“This is the best game we played all year,” Chapel Field Coach Mike Bonagura said. “For us, this season was about improving from the beginning until the end, regardless of our won-loss record.”