The Saugerties High School varsity girls’ basketball team won its second Section IX, Class A title in three years on Monday night, ousting reigning champ Red Hook 65-58 in a game played at Mount Saint Mary College. With the win, the Sawyers improved to 16-5 on the season and earned a bye in the semifinal round.
Saugerties dominated early in the game, racing out to a 17-10 first-quarter advantage and taking a five-point lead into intermission. In the third quarter, though, Red Hook got hot, and the two teams were knotted at 44 points apiece heading into the final frame.
Over the course of a basketball season, teams will see their fortunes rise and fall, with everyone from stars to role players having a chance to play a part in pivotal moments. Julia Quinlan, a sophomore guard, was the right player at the right time for the Sawyers on Monday night, coming off the bench in the fourth quarter to drill three crucial three-pointers. With leading scorer Grace Van Roy’s role diminished by foul trouble, Quinlan stepped in and gave coach Mike Melville the boost his team needed.
Quinlan’s treys were her only points of the game, but the Sawyers were buoyed by Grace Van Roy’s 21 points, and solid shooting nights from Erin Dudzic (12 points), Anna VanRoy (eight points), Jaclyn Murphy (eight points) and Christie Collins (six points).
The Sawyers had a much easier time in the semifinals on Saturday, March 3, when they played host to Goshen, winning 59-32. Saugerties outscored Goshen 21-4 in the first quarter, and while the team sagged a bit in the second quarter, the result was never in doubt.
Grace Van Roy led Saugerties with 17 points and six rebounds, while Anna Van Roy (eleven points, eight rebounds, six blocks), Murphy (eleven points, six assists), Dudzic (three points, five steals) and Collins (three points, three blocks) also contributed significantly.
The Sawyers look to punch their ticket to the state Final Four this Friday, March 9 when they play a regional final against either Rye (Section I) or Seton Catholic (Section IV).