TROY – With just over 90 seconds remaining in the first half of Saturday’s state Class D semifinal, Livingston Manor was in a tie game with Oriskany, the undefeated Section 3 champion.
Oriskany’s Christian Graziadei scored and was fouled on a layup with 1:35 left in the second quarter, and she completed the 3-point play for her team’s first points of the period.
Those wouldn’t be the last.
Oriskany closed the second quarter on a 7-2 run and the Redskins scored the first seven points of the second half to pull away from Livingston Manor in a 49-31 victory at Hudson Valley Community College.
“I was feeling really good about it,” said Livingston Manor senior guard Sam Scott. “It showed us that we were off to a good start and we were working together as a team. It starting falling apart at the half.”
Scott gave Livingston Manor an early lead with a 3-point basket in the game’s first minute. The Wildcats trailed by one after the first quarter, but a Devon Dutcher free throw tied the game at 9-9 two minutes into the second.
The game remained tied until Graziadei’s 3-point play and Oriskany never relinquished the lead.
“In the beginning we were kind of set,” said Livingston Manor senior guard Imani Miranda. “We were saying, “Let’s do this.” We wanted to win. In turned out that we got tired out and we had the height disadvantage and everything. Toward the end we got tired.”
Graziadei, a 6-foot-1 Hartwick College-bound senior, finished with 21 points and 14 rebounds. She also made five steals, a handful of the 27 turnovers committed by Livingston Manor.
“They’re a very good team and they forced stuff,” said Livingston Manor head coach Kevin Clifford. “We got a little tired and started making mental mistakes and they took advantage of every one. They’re long and they’re good.”
Madison Zizzi added eight points and Shannon Vanshufflin had seven points and nine assists for Oriskany (23-0), which will play Notre Dame of Batavia (22-2, Section 5) in Sunday’s 12 p.m. state championship game at HVCC.
For Livingston Manor (6-11), Scott scored 18 points – 12 of them coming on 3-point shots – and was named to the all-tournament team.
Freshman center Emily Gorr was held scoreless, but she had nine rebounds. Ami Calo, a junior guard, had three points and eight rebounds.
Senior guard Cindy Zheng scored two points and was named Livingston Manor’s sportsmanship award winner.
Thanks for following along with girls’ basketball this season. Once I get our annual Varsity845 all-star team together, I’ll post some links on Twitter: @THR_Montgomery.
I’m also hoping to put up a video from today’s John S. Burke Catholic boys’ basketball state semifinal victory. Check back on the blog later in the day for that.
Tomorrow, Justin Rodriguez, Kevin Gleason and I will have you covered as the Burke Catholic boys play in the state championship game at 1:30 p.m. If you can’t make it to Glens Falls for the game, check out Varsity845.com and our championship scoreboard for all the info you need.