Madison Zizzi # 3 drives for two of her 11 points.
Batavia Notre Dame (23-2) raced past the Skins today, in Troy, to claim the Class D New York State basketball Championship with an impressive, 52-40 win over the state’s #2 ranked team.
Batavia ND should be given props for the way they got the chance to party, on the court, at Hudson Valley Community College.
After-all, yesterday, they dispatched the state’s number one ranked Class D team, Fort Edward, to set up a date with the previously unbeaten, two-time Section III Champs,Oriskany.
The Lady Irish made this Saint Patrick’s day one their fans would be dancing a gig to for years to come, as the Western New York school got to enjoy the first Class D crown since 1999.
Coach Angela Meiss’s kids would not go into the off-season without a fight.
A fight indeed..a basketball Donnybrook.
Both teams hit the hardwood playing with a reckless abandon, and frenetic pace that left fans of both schools gasping for air.
The problem for the Redskins was that the pace was one they really don’t like to play at. Batavia Notre Dame wins with defense…defense and more defense.
A ball-hawking, full-court press style of play that ended up leaving Oriskany players wondering if the entire Lady Irish roster was on the court all at the same time.
With the game tied 24-24 with 4:20 to go in the third the game changing run got underway.
The tight back and forth affair turned on a dime in the third quarter, as the heat got turned up way too high by the Notre Dame Press, as a 15-0 Irish run broke this one wide open. Notre Dame led 40-28 with just eight minutes left to play.
Riley Norton, and Tourney MVP Melanie Taylor took the game over, scoring 15 of ND’s 22 third quarter points.
Taylor, who led the winners with 24, netted 7 and Riley Norton 8, to spearhead the run to glory.
Norton made back-to-back baskets, including a three-pointer, during the blitz that saw Notre Dame score 14 unanswered points at the end of the third quarter.
Oriskany saw their hard-earned 28-26 lead disappear with 3 minutes and 40 seconds left, a lead that turned into a 40-28 deficit by the end of the quarter.
Notre Dame outscored Oriskany 22-10 in the decisive eight minutes of action.
A Norton 3 was followed up by another 3 banged home by Taylor with :50 seconds left in the third, put the Irish up 10, 38-28, as the quarter wound down.
Laurie Call, answered the call with a last second steal and bucket as Notre Dame headed to the fourth leading by 12 points.
Oriskany cut the lead back down to just 7 when Shannon VanShufflin netted 2 of her 5 points with 2:10 left in the game and the season.
Madison Zizzi hit from the field with 1:10 to go to make it a 7 point lead once again, 47-40. That’s as close as the Skins would get, as Batavia iced the game from the line and cruised to the 52-40 win.
The defense, we alluded to earlier, helped propel the Irish past Oriskany as they banged and bumped Oriskany’s star and leading scorer Christina Graziadei all game long.
The tight defense paid off, as Graziadei was held to just 4 points well below her 16 point per game average.
Both teams poked and prodded each other, looking for an edge, any edge, to get a leg up in the Class D title tilt.
It was 10-10 after one quarter, as Madison Zizzi, scored 4 of her 11 points to help keep her side close.
Jordan Sah put her team up 4, 14-10, streaking up court after a steal to lay one in off glass with 6:20 left in the second quarter.
Sahl, scored two more of her team high 16 points just about a minute later as the Skins held on to the lead 16-13.
Sahl also grabbed eight rebounds, Zizzi had nine rebounds and five steals, and both were named to the state’s Class D all-tournament team.
Just seconds later, Christina Graziadei picked up her first two points of the game as the Redskins enjoyed their biggest lead of the day, 18-13, with five minutes to go until the break.
Graziadei, Oriskany’s all-time scoring leader with 1,329 points in her career, was held to four points on 2 of 12 shooting.
Both teams struggled from the floor in this defense filled affair as Oriskany made just 17 of 44 shots to shoot 39% from the field.
Batavia struggled as well, shooting just 36% from the floor.
Batavia did score 10 points from the free throw line, making 10 of 18, Oriskany was 4-8 from the charity stripe.
The Lady Irish defense forced 19 Oriskany turnovers, but Notre Dame returned serve with 15 turnovers of their own.
It was just a rough and tumble affair.
Starters Graziadei, VanShufflin and Brandi Zizzi and senior classmates Brandi Gauthier and Meriah Kotary played their final game for the Redskins.
Batavia Notre Dame 52-Oriskany 40
1 2 3 4 Total
Notre Dame 10 8 22 12 52
Oriskany 10 8 10 12 40
MHTS Scoring Summary: