2017-03-16 / Sports
Northfield Girls Fall in Overtime Heartbreaker
The sixth seeded Northfield High Girl’s basketball team closed out their season with a heartbreaking, 33-32, overtime loss at third seeded Leland and Gray last Saturday afternoon. The Marauder Girls finished up with a 15-7 record.
The close score of that game was in keeping with this year’s tournament. “We were in the mix with our record. Seeds three through seven had nearly identical records and the index points decided the seeds, said Northfield coach Steve Cicio.
“Williamstown had one more index point than us and they were fifth, and Rivendell had one less point and they were seventh. That’s how close most of the teams in Div III were this season.”
In order to get to play the number three seed, Leland and Gray, the Marauder Girls did something they haven’t done since 2010- they won a first round game. The Northfield Girls knocked off Green Mountain 47-51 last Wednesday night, at home.
Against Green Mountain Gabbi Cicio led the way with a 17 point performance and Lydia Reed was close behind with 14 as the Marauders advanced in the tournament.
The win over Green Mountain set up the long trip to Leland and Gray (Located in Townsend, Vt. – you can’t get there from here- you have to go someplace else and start.) and what had to be a VERY LONG ride back home.
“Going into the Leland & Gray game I told the girls we had nothing to lose. We were the sixth seed playing against number three and if we won we were going to the Aud if we didn’t win nobody expected the sixth seed to beat the third seed,” said coach Cicio.
“We went out ready to play and early on took a 9-4 lead in the first quarter. We came out and hit 3 3-pointers right at the beginning of the game. We were playing well we were creating turnovers with our half-court press.
“ Leland & Gray outscored us 9-5 in the second quarter and we went into halftime with a 14-13 lead.
“At halftime the talk was that we were still in this game and that they could play with Leland & Gray.
“After three quarters it was still close but we were down 19-18. But the girls knew they weren’t going to quit,” coach Cicio said.
And then the coach got into the final stages of the game: “In the fourth quarter it was back and forth and coming down to the wire we had a lead. We were up 3 with over a minute to go. It stayed that way for three or four possessions.
“With 15.4 seconds left Leland & Gray called a timeout at half-court to set some offense up. We knew we couldn’t give up a three, And it turned out that Jesse Stockwell picked that time to score her only points of the day-a 3-pointer. She was defended she had a defender right on her but the shot went in. She just chucked up and the thing. Of course the home crowd went crazy.
“We had the ball back with 4.5 seconds left so I called a timeout to try and set up a shot. They pressured the ball on the inbound play and all we could get was a shot from about six feet from the mid-court line. It didn’t go in so we went to overtime.
“In overtime again it went back and forth – up 3, tie game, up two, tie game. We got to the foul line and went up by one. We had opportunities but didn’t convert.
With four seconds left in the overtime their coach tried to call a time out but it wasn’t granted (because of crowd noise the official didn’t hear the coach.)
“So play went on –the ball came loose under the basket and Leland & Gray’s Hannah Buffum threw up a shot from about 13 feet away, in the paint, and it went in- that was the ball game. 33-32 Leland & Gray wins over Northfield,” coach Steve Cicio said.
Junior Maia Robinson was the high scorer for Northfield with 16 points while seniors Gabbi Cicio and Katie Lafaille each scored 7 in the heartbreaking defeat.
The Girls were understandably down after the game but coach Cicio told them to consider their entire season not just the last game.
“You can always say “what if” but I’m not saying that because these girls played their hearts out all year. They wound up with a great season. Fifteen and seven is nothing to be ashamed of and I told them that after the game yesterday (Saturday). I told them to hold their heads up because of the way they played all season.
“We lost the opening game of the season against Randolph and went on an 11 game win streak. I don’t know when the last time was that that happened.
“From the beginning of the season I had three very determined seniors- Gabrielle (Cicio)), Lydia (Reed) and (Katie Lafaille). From the onset of the season their goal was to get to the Auditorium. They and the rest of the team almost made that happen. We came up one win shy. They can be proud of themselves they are a great group of kids that played hard all season,” coach Steve Cicio said.