Wallkill girls rally past NFA in Feller tourney
After being tied 14-14 after the first quarter, Wallkill trailed Newburgh 31-28 at the half of the first game of the 13th annual Corinne Feller Memorial Tip-Off Tournament Saturday at Valley Central.
But the Lady Panthers were able to wrestle the lead away in the third, up 42-39, before winning 60-56. Both teams nearly battled point for point in the fourth as the Lady Goldbacks sent Wallkills Lisa Bouffard to the foul line 10 times, and she converted five of the shots to go nine for 15 in the game and led her team with 27 points.
“I thought as a team we played really well,” said Bouffard. “I knew we had confidence coming because we worked so hard in practice.”
Bouffard had to battle Newburgh’s Sarah Williams defensively in the middle as the Newburgh center scored 16 points for Newburgh.
“She gave me a really hard match-up,” said Bouffard.
Katie Cook led Newburgh with 18 points, including nine in the second quarter when Wallkill struggled with turnovers. In the third, Newburgh struggled with turnovers and never recovered.
“We just handed them the game. There’s no other way to put it,” said Rich Desiderio, Newburgh’s coach.
Rachel Simon, who with 12 points, tied the game 14-14, with a three late in the first quarter. Heather Kiczek, with 10 points, also helped Wallkill with double figures.
“It’s a typical first game,” said Desiderio. “They played hard and attacked us, and we didn’t respond to it. In the second half we made far too many mistakes.”
The tournament, originally a two-day event Nov. 30-Dec. 1, will resume Dec. 8 after inclement weather on Nov. 30 pushed the opening round to Saturday. Host Valley Central, which won the tournament in 2011, will again will be the final this weekend after beating Pine Bush 58-40.
Now Valley Central will face Wallkill in their second straight tournament final this Saturday at 3. Newburgh plays Pine Bush in the consolation game at 1 p.m.
“We’ll just have to try to get better,” said Desiderio.
By Bond Brungard