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Ladyjacks fall in semifinal playoff round

Dan McClelland

by Rich Rosentreter
The Tupper Lake Ladyjacks girls varsity basketball team had a nice run, but finally fell in the playoffs on February 21 with a 44-21 loss to the Madrid-Waddington Yellowjackets in the Section X Class C Championship game.
The Ladyjacks, who had the number four seed, had advanced to the championship round following a big playoff win over the Potsdam Sandstoners and then had to face the top-seeded Yellowjackets. The local girls pounced all over Potsdam but were not able to top Madrid, which went on to two more playoff victories.
In the championship game against the Yellowjackets, Tupper Lake managed to hang tough in the first quarter and trailed by a 8-4 score. But Madrid’s defense stifled the Ladyjacks in the second quarter as they outscored the locals by a 12-2 margin and opened up a 20-6 cushion at halftime.
In the second quarter, Madrid maintained the defensive edge and held the Ladyjacks to just three points in the third quarter and put the game out of reach by netting 14 points of their own. The Yellowjackets held a commanding 34-9 lead going into the final quarter.
But the Ladyjacks did not give up despite the large deficit as they played their best basketball of the game in the fourth quarter. Tupper Lake outscored the number one team 12-10 in the final stanza, but their effort was not enough as the Yellowjackets held on for the victory. Madrid would eventually lose the overall championship game 45-37 in overtime against Heuvelton.
Katie Zurek led the Ladyjacks in their playoff effort with a team-high 16 points. Casey O’Connor contributed three points and Mya Landry netted two points in the game.
The Ladyjacks closed out the season at with a 6-15 overall record, and Head Coach Travis Dupuis said he was proud of the way the girls played against a tough Madrid-Waddington team.
“The girls played well especially in the beginning of the game but Madrid was able to take advantage of some turnovers at the end of the half and during the third quarter that made it hard for us to get back into the game.” He told the Free Press. “Also during the game Madrid played a very aggressive defense that led to us having a hard time scoring.”