By Mackensey O'Hara CONTRIBUTING WRITER
---- — Maggie Hall led the way with nine points, as Cooperstown had four players scoring eight or more points in a 46-34 win over Vernon-Verona-Sherrill Saturday afternoon.
A tough zone defense and great production off the bench kept V-V-S from getting much closer than 10 points throughout the contest.
Christina Noto came off the bench to score all of her eight points in the first half.
“She had a great game,” Cooperstown coach Mike Niles said. “She gave us some good separation there in the first half.”
Both teams played hard to the end, trading baskets in the final minutes of the game. A three-pointer Kyli Towner brought V-V-S to within 44-32 late in the fourth quarter, but Cooperstown’s Ciara McGoldrick countered with an inside put back to make it 46-32.
McGoldrick had a solid game with eight points off the bench and some key rebounds for the Hawkeyes.
“She’s a good player and we thought she would be able to contribute to the team coming up from JV,” Niles said.
A three-pointer by Kaitlyn Reader made it 37-28 with 5:35 left in the fourth quarter causing Cooperstown to call a timeout, but it was as close as the Red Devils would get down the stretch.
Reader, who led all scorers with 17 points, kept V-V-S in the game.
“One thing I told the girls (in the timeout) was that we can’t leave Reader (open), she’s a good player,” Niles said.
The Hawkeyes listened to Niles, as Reader would not score again.
Cooperstown pushed the ball hard all game, getting numerous points off of fast breaks and keeping V-V-S from getting into much of a rhythm. The Hawkeyes took advantage in the half court play as well executing crisp quick plays that V-V-S could not keep up with in their man-to-man defense.
Guards Millea, Jennifer Flynn, and Hall all did a great job of handling the point and taking advantage of open opportunities. During a congested play late in the third quarter, Cooperstown retained possession and got the ball to Mallory Arthurs, who finished a hard drive in for two points and a foul shot to end the quarter 35-21.
Cooperstown would show this intensity again coming right out of halftime. Leading 25-15, the Hawkeyes forced a turnover, pushed the ball up, and got a turnaround jumper by Arthurs to make it 27-15. Two plays later, Millea would hit a long three from the top of the key, not allowing V-V-S to gain any momentum coming out of the locker room.
Cooperstown had the lead the entire game with early first quarter three-pointers by Hall and S.J. Morosko giving them a comfortable lead of eight points early.
A baseline jumper by Noto increased their lead to 12-5 at the end of the quarter. Cooperstown would keep control of the game the rest of the night.
“They had a little momentum (there at the end),” Niles said of V-V-S, “But we had a good finish.”
Cooperstown (7-4, 3-2) will host division leader Little Falls on Friday.
“That’s a big one,” Niles said.
The Mounties are undefeated and senior center Gen Schoff scored her 1,000th career point on Saturday in a win over Holland Patent. Schoff, who is considering offers to play in college from St. John Fisher, Sage College, and Buffalo State, is the ninth member of her family to score more than 1000 points in high school. Her father Ted did it at St. Johnsville and her sisters Sue and Ann achieved the feat at Little Falls.
The Mounties are also dealing with the loss of senior Sarah Bruins, who will miss the rest of the season to undergo treatment for cancer.
Cooperstown 46, V-V-S 34
VERNON-VERONA-SHERRILL: Kylie Towner 1 0-0 2, Sam Pendergast 0 0-0 0, Mikayla Kingsley 1 0-0 2, Kaitlyn Reader 7 1-2 17, Dani Janis 1 0-0 2, Emma Richardson 1 1-2 3, Theresa Pitman 2 2-4 6, Sara Field 1 0-2 2. TOTALS: 14 4-10 34.
COOPERSTOWN (7-3, 3-2): Christina Noto 4 0-0 8, Liz Millea 4 0-0 8, SJ Morosko 2 0-0 6, Mallory Arthurs 2 0-1 4, Jenn Flynn 0 1-2 1, Maggie Hall 4 0-0 9, Lucy Ford 0 2-2 2, Ciarra McGoldrick 3 2-5 8. TOTALS: 19 5-10 46.
V-V-S 5 10 6 13 - 34
Cooperstown 12 13 10 11 - 46
Three-point field goals: V 2 (Reader 2); C 3 (Morosko 2, Hall).