PLATTSBURGH — Beekmantown’s fast start Saturday did not break Glens Falls’ will, but in the end it did break the Indians’ hearts.
Down by 17 after one quarter, Glens Falls clawed its way back within seven late in their Class B regional girls basketball final at Plattsburgh State. However, the Indians could not close the gap any more as Beekmantown held on for a 66-56 victory.
“We dug too deep a hole, but we kept fighting and clawing, we didn’t quit,” said Glens Falls coach Mark Girard, whose team ended its season with a 21-3 record. “In these kind of games, you can’t get down to that point, then you exhaust all your energy trying to come back.”
“We came out kind of flat in the first, we let them get a good lead,” junior forward Taylor Scarincio said. “But I’m proud of my team for not giving up until the end. We got it down to seven points, we just kept clawing and clawing, we didn’t give up.”
“We didn’t come out as strong as we wanted to, and it just ruined the rest of the game,” said senior Lucy Tougas, who led all scorers with 21 points. “We finished strong — coach said he was proud of how hard we finished, but it wasn’t enough. Our defense wasn’t as good as it should’ve been.”
Sophomore forward Sophie Tougas netted 20 points for Glens Falls, which finished one step farther than last season.
The Eagles (22-1), who advance to the state final four next weekend at Hudson Valley Community, were powered by seniors Kenna Guynup and Brooke Bjelko with 18 points each, and another 17 from Gabby Rowell. Guynup broke Glens Falls’ press and cut inside for layups, the 6-foot-1 Bjelko owned the boards, and Rowell was a high-percentage shooter inside the arc.
“I thought 4 (Guynup) was outstanding for them today,” Girard said. “She kept breaking us down, she beat us off the dribble — now we have to rotate help and we leave Bjelko open in there. Our rotations weren’t the best.”
Beekmantown jumped out to a 22-5 lead after one quarter and never looked back until the fourth quarter, when the Indians came roaring back.
Lucy Tougas knocked down a 3-pointer with 4:52 left to spark an 18-6 Glens Falls run over the next three-plus minutes. Caitlin Hogan buried a 3, Tougas added a short jumper, and Sophie Tougas drilled a 3 of her own to pull the Indians within 56-46 with 2:46 left to play.
Moments later, Sophie Tougas nailed another 3 and then a layup to move them within 60-53 with 1:15 remaining.
However, forced to foul to get the ball back, Glens Falls could get no closer, as the Eagles sealed the win at the foul line.
“We finished pretty strong,” said Sophie Tougas, who scored 10 of her 20 points in the fourth quarter. “It finally hit us that we have to do something else, or we’re not going to be able to dig ourselves out. We couldn’t pull it out.”
“They came back and fought hard — that’s something we all should be proud of as Glens Falls parents and coaches,” Girard said.
The Indians endured an abysmal start in the first quarter, as turnovers and missed shots fueled Beekmantown’s opening 14-0 blitz barely five minutes into the game. Lucy Tougas converted a three-point play with 2:54 left in the period for Glens Falls’ first points. She scored the Indians’ first nine points of the game.
The Eagles held a 32-18 halftime lead and led 49-29 seconds into the fourth quarter.
“Maybe if we came out a little bit better in the first quarter, things would’ve been different,” Girard said. “The first four minutes of the game is what did us in, because then we’re second-guessing ourselves. ... But give them credit — they played a good game, and they played better than we did. We just didn’t do it today.”
The loss brought an end to the careers of several Glens Falls seniors — notably starters Lucy Tougas, Hogan and Emilie Moses.
“But the sun’s going to come up tomorrow, and they should be proud of their accomplishments,” Girard said. “We won the Foothills, we won Section II for the second time, we advanced to the regional final. We accomplished something that hasn’t been done in Glens Falls for I don’t know how many years. They should be proud of that.”
Girls Class B Regional Final
Glens Falls (21-3)
2P 3P FT TP
Emilie Moses 0 1 0 3
Sophie Tougas 6 2 2 20
Caitlin Hogan 1 2 0 8
Lucy Tougas 7 1 4 21
Taylor Scarincio 1 0 0 2
Felicity Williams 0 0 0 0
Anna Bayle 0 0 2 2
Emma Bayle 0 0 0 0
Sovereign Strickland 0 0 0 0
Totals 15 6 8 56
2P 3P FT TP
Alyssa Waters 2 1 4 11
Jordanne Manney 1 0 0 2
Kenna Guynup 7 0 4 18
Gabby Rowell 8 0 1 17
Brooke Bjelko 5 0 8 18
Totals 23 1 17 66
Glens Falls 5 13 11 27 — 56
Beekmantown 22 10 15 19 — 66