The Tamarac (SectionII) girls basketball team’s dream of winning a New York State Public High School Athletic Association Championship came to an end Friday afternoon at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy.
The Wildcats knew they needed to shutdown Notre Dame’s leading scorer Emily Durr.
Tamarac did just that for the first half,. But the 5-11 senior guard broke loose after the intermission, scoring 24 of her 32 points leading the Jugglers to a convincing 69-55 victory.
Notre Dame advances to take on Bishop Kearney for the state title back at Hudson Valley today at 4 p.m. The Kings (Section V) advanced with a 71-58 victory over Woodlands (Section I).
Notre Dame began the game with its quick-tempo style of play scoring the first six points of the game while frustrating Tamarac's offense.
The Jugglers, whose all five starting players put points on the board led ed 22-14 after the first period.
They built the lead to 37-24 at halftime with Durr on the bench for much of the quarter in foul trouble.
“Our kids battled and could have pitched a tent when we trailed 6-0,” Tamarac coach Eric Medved said. “Once we settled in we proved we could play with them. But just as all great players rise up to great performances that is exactly what Emily did.”
After the Wildcats trimmed the lead to eight after an 8-0 run to draw within 44-36 with 2:13 left to play in the third quarter, it was Durr’s time to take the reigns.
Her team led 46-36 entering the final period.
“I let the game come to me and my teammates got me the ball,” Durr said. “We needed to combat their run and we did. I got good passes, I was feelin it and I just knocked em (shots) down.
And did she ever knock em (shots) down.
Her performance in the final quarter was phenomenal.
Durr scored 19 points in the final nine minutes of play, including five 3-pointers and a 4-point play to shut the door on the Bengals.
“We moved the ball to get it to her (Emily) and she took control,” Notre Dame coach Mike Plonisch said. “ She had open looks. She was in the rhythm and she knocked down the shots.”
Durr finished with 32 points. She now has 2,360 career points and is just eight away from breaking the Section II all-time scoring record held by Breanna Stewart of Cicero-North Syracuse.
In Bishop Kearny’s victory four players scored in double digits with Kharysma Bryant leading the way with 19 points.
“This was a tough game and the score didn’t show the physicality of it,” Kearney coach Kevan Sheppard said. “Every basket that went in on both sides was worked for.”