With two free throws with 6:16 to play, Laney Hinman finally gave the Waterville girls varsity basketball team what it had lacked all second half of the game: the lead.
From the get-go in the opening round of the VVS Tournament vs. Broadalbin Perth, Waterville had trailed most of the contest and had never lead after the Patriots took a 15-13 halftime lead. Down by as much as 8 points in the third quarter, Waterville’s rally started with back-to-back 3-pointers in the fourth quarter by Janelle Cleary and Megan Wittenbeck to tie the game at 26-all.
The Indians won the game to advance to the final round vs. host VVS. The Red Devils pulled away in the final quarter for a 45-33 win. Waterville finished the break with a come-from-behind win at Central Valley Academy to improve to 5-2.
In the first game, after Hinman put them up 28-26, B-P tied it on a basket. Then Cleary, who scored a game-high 18 points and was Waterville’s All-tournament player, landed her second 3-pointer of the final quarter. The Patriots answered with their own trey to tie it at 31 with 4 minutes left.
The Indians missed two free throws but Cleary leaped to grab the rebound after the second miss, popped it in and put the Indians up by two once again. The Patriots responded with a layup to tie it for the fifth and last time at 33.
Despite taking a hard hit, Eleonore Collins made a free throw with 2:13 left to play; her defense at the other end caused the Patriots to miss their shot and again, Cleary took advantage with a heads-up play. She took the rebound and sprinted full court for the layup and awarded free throw for a 37-33 lead. Paige Cornish hit two free throws for the game’s final points.
In the first quarter, the Indians did not…