COHOES — Cambridge knew it would be in for a test Tuesday night in the Class C semifinals of the Section II Girls Basketball Tournament.
Hoosick Falls managed to throw the top-seeded Indians off their game for a while, but Cambridge prevailed in a 49-42 victory at Cohoes High School.
The Indians (22-1) advance to play second-seeded Mekeel Christian (20-2) for the Section II title on Friday at 6 p.m. at Hudson Valley Community College. It is Cambridge's first appearance in the finals since 2011. Mekeel is the defending Section II champion.
Cambridge had come out strong, but the Panthers (12-11) took a 27-21 halftime lead, before the Indians surged ahead in the third, outscoring Hoosick Falls 18-6 in the period.
The Panthers closed within 43-41 in the final minute, but Cambridge made its foul shots down the stretch to seal victory. Helen Mooney led the Indians with 19 points, while Logan Thayne scored a game-high 21 for Hoosick Falls.
"Playing a Wasaren League team three times is tough," Cambridge coach Tony Bochette said. "Hoosick Falls came out with a great game plan and it knocked us off our game early. They got us doing things we don't normally do."
Bochette said the Panthers threw a special defense against his squad in the first half.
"We knew they would, but it shook our confidence before halftime," he said. "We usually like to create space and open things up for driving the lane, but they were able to clog up the middle and we weren't able to knock down outside shots. The third quarter, we were more lock-down on defense and that got us going again in transition."
Mekeel defeated Greenville 51-49 in Tuesday's other Class C semifinal.