SARATOGA SPRINGS — With his team trailing by three at the half Wednesday night, Argyle girls basketball coach Terry Chamberlain only had to remind the Scots of one thing.
“We’re a second-half team. The second half is ours,” he said. “They know it, they believe it.”
Argyle used two scoring surges — including a 10-1 run to end the game — outscoring Fort Ann 31-17 in the second half of a 52-41 Class D semifinal victory at Saratoga Springs High School.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Section II girls basketball finals drought is over for the Hartford Tanagers.
“I don’t know what happens,” said senior center Sam Humiston, who scored 17 of her game-high 21 points in the second half. “We just click at halftime and we come out and do most of our damage.”
The victory put the top-seeded Scots (18-4) into the finals of the Section II Girls Basketball Tournament for the third straight year. They will face third-seeded Hartford in the title game, set for Saturday at 11 a.m. at Hudson Valley Community College.
Fort Ann (15-8), which got 17 points from junior Amanda Godfrey, had taken advantage of sloppy play by Argyle to seize a 24-21 halftime edge.
Knotted at 30-30 late in the third quarter, the Scots scored four quick layups — two each by Humiston and Hailee Liddle — to open a 38-31 lead by the end of the period.
The Cardinals staged one final rally early in the fourth quarter, getting a layup by Sarah Paige and a 3-pointer by Megan Wemett to pull within 42-40.
However, over the final 4:40 of the game, the Scots outscored Fort Ann 10-1, sealing the win with a three-point play by Humiston and a big 3 from Erica Liddle.
“We stepped up our intensity on defense and we moved better offensively,” Chamberlain said. “We got nice entry passes in to Sam Humiston and she did a good job finishing inside.”
Fifth-seeded Fort Ann, which also got 11 points from Paige, had used an 8-2 run in the final two minutes of the first half to take its halftime lead.
“We got stagnant in the second half,” Cardinals coach Logan Watson said. “Our seniors played their tails off tonight — they’re going to have tremendous futures.
“At times, we might have had the four best athletes out of the 10 players on the floor, but Argyle has outstanding basketball IQ and they’ve played together a long time, that makes a big difference.”