BROOKLYN — The top-ranked Class C girls basketball team in the state took down a top-25 Class AA team Saturday.
Defending state champion Cambridge earned a 67-63 victory over Baldwin in triple overtime in the Rose Classic Super Jam tournament at Canarsie High School. The Indians (11-0) play Xaverian on Monday at noon at Nazareth High School.
Sophie Phillips scored 22 points and Fiona Mooney added 17 to lead the Indians, but it was sophomore Stasia Epler who pulled off the big shot.
“It was back and forth the entire game — they’re very athletic, they pressed us the entire game,” Cambridge head coach Bob Phillips said by phone Sunday. “We got the ball with 10 seconds left in regulation. We had a play break down, but we switched to a different one. Stasia Epler got open at the top of the key and she shot it — it bounced once, twice and went in to tie the game.”
Epler’s 3-pointer tied the score at 49-49 to send the game into overtime, and Cambridge outlasted Baldwin. Epler finished with 11 points and nine rebounds, and Lilly Phillips netted 12 points and had five assists. Mooney finished with 12 rebounds, Ruth Nolan had eight boards and Sophie Phillips added six steals and five rebounds.
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“It was like a heavyweight fight — whoever was going to be left standing at the end,” said Bob Phillips, who said the team was taking in the New York City sights on Sunday. “We didn’t play particularly well, we only made half of our free throws and we had 18 turnovers.”
Baldwin (5-4), a perennial power from Nassau County (Section VIII) on Long Island, was ranked 25th in the state in Class AA this week.
“They were uptempo, they have quick guards, so the game was sped up on us,” Bob Phillips said. “But we needed to be pushed beyond comfortable. ... We got pushed to the brink and we didn’t break.”
Coach Phillips said the game said a lot about his team.
"They're resilient, the whole group of them," he said. "They play hard, they play for each other, they take charges, they get on the floor after loose balls. It says we can compete against anybody if we play well, and we didn't play really well. There's room for improvement.
"We needed to be pushed," Bob Phillips added. "Teams will be gunning for us in the playoffs, so we need to get better and accept big challenges."