TROY — For one long, dry stretch of the third quarter Saturday, the Glens Falls girls basketball team had to wonder — was this it?
The Indians were chasing a second straight Class B championship in the Section II tournament, but the third quarter was a scoring drought. For five and a half minutes, nothing was falling for the Indians. Ten shots found nothing but rim, they turned the ball over four times, and Tamarac was inching closer and closer.
But a decisive 14-0 run into the fourth quarter — 11 points from sophomore standout Sophie Tougas — turned frustration into celebration as Glens Falls cruised to a 50-38 victory at Hudson Valley Community College.
The win snapped Tamarac’s 20-game winning streak and extended the Indians’ season to the regional semifinals. Glens Falls (21-2) advances to play Section X champion Canton on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Potsdam State.
“We still had those nerves right out of halftime,” said Tougas, who finished with a game-high 25 points and 10 rebounds. “Our coach (Mark Girard) said they weren’t going to quit, they want this as bad as we do, they’re still in this — all they need was a couple of 3s to be right back in it. We really just had to calm down, and once we did that we were fine.”
“It took us a little while but we definitely woke up,” said senior Lucy Tougas, who netted 13 points and was named tournament MVP. “I just felt like we weren’t going at our full steam that we usually can. Once we clicked, we pulled away.”
The Tougas sisters combined to equal Tamarac’s scoring output as they both made the all-tournament team.
“I told the kids all week, they’re going to try to hold us to 50, and we’re going to try to hold them under 40, and it worked out exactly like we said it going to,” said Glens Falls coach Mark Girard, whose team has won 13 in a row.
“This is just one more step toward our bigger goal — it was great to just come out and get it done,” said junior forward Taylor Scarincio, who finished with seven points and seven rebounds.
The Bengals put a little doubt into the equation late as they chipped back into the game in the third quarter. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Emily Erickson and Hannah Kreiger pulled Tamarac within 33-28.
Sophie Tougas responded with a 3 of her own. She opened the fourth quarter with another 3, then a layup, then another 3. Teammate Caitlin Hogan swished in a trey of her own as the Indians’ lead ballooned to 47-28 with 5:20 to play, and the Indians coasted from there.
“The key was spreading them out and getting our wide-open shots,” Scarincio said. “As soon as we started running our offenses, we were getting good looks — we just had to make them. Sophie kept getting her open shots and Lucy handled the floor really well and got us good looks.”
“It’s tough to repeat,” Girard said. “I tried to tell the girls ‘Everybody wants to beat you.’ So I’m as proud as I could be of these kids, just to battle the way they did and play the schedule like they did.
“And after (Friday) night, I had no choice but to win, otherwise I would have to hear about it,” he added with a smile, referring to the Glens Falls boys’ Section II championship victory. The boys regional semifinal follows the girls’ game on Tuesday night at Potsdam State.
Glens Falls had initially pulled away from the Bengals (21-2) after a tight first quarter, as Lucy Tougas sparked a 13-3 run to seize a 29-17 lead in the second quarter.
Kreiger scored 12 points and Erickson added 11 to lead the Bengals.
“They’re a very good defensive team — they’re quick, they made us play fast in the first and third quarters,” Sophie Tougas said of Tamarac.
“For my last year and my last year with my sister, it feels really good that we could get this again,” Lucy Tougas said. “Hopefully we can make it farther in the state playoffs than we did last year.”
Class B Championship
2P 3P FT TP
Emily Erickson 2 2 1 11
Kayla Doody 1 1 0 5
Amani Henderson 2 0 1 5
Hannah Kreiger 1 3 1 12
Renna Poulin 2 0 1 5
Liz Machnick 0 0 0 0
Totals 8 6 4 38
Glens Falls (21-2)
2P 3P FT TP
Emilie Moses 0 0 0 0
Sophie Tougas 5 3 6 25
Caitlin Hogan 1 1 0 5
Lucy Tougas 6 0 1 13
Taylor Scarincio 3 0 1 7
Anna Bayle 0 0 0 0
Felicity Williams 0 0 0 0
Sovereign Strickland 0 0 0 0
Emma Bayle 0 0 0 0
Laura Hendley 0 0 0 0
Maggie Girard 0 0 0 0
Totals 15 4 8 50
Tamarac 14 5 9 10 — 38
Glens Falls 16 14 6 14 — 50
Other stats: Doody (Tam) 7 rebounds, 3 assists. Erickson (Tam) 6 rebounds, 2 assists. Henderson (Tam) 5 rebounds. S. Tougas (GF) 10 rebounds, 4 steals. Scarincio (GF) 7 rebounds, 2 steals. L. Tougas (GF) 3 rebounds, 2 blocks. Moses (GF) 2 steals.