Saints rally on Bulldogs´ big night
FARMINGDALE -- Ahead by 10 points with five and a half minutes to play in the fourth quarter, the Hall-Dale High School girls basketball team looked in complete control of its game against St. Dominic Academy. The Bulldogs looked to be pulling away, and the Saints, playing without key players Olivia Mayo and Faith Grady, looked exhausted.
It didn´t take long for the Saints to regain their legs. St. Dominic closed regulation on a 12-2 run then shut out Hall-Dale in overtime to take a 51-42 Mountain Valley Conference win.
"We knew everybody had to step up. Some people filled some big shoes. I´m really proud of my team," said senior Kelly Pomerleau, who led the Saints with 32 points, including six in overtime.
"I though (Nicole) Pelletier did a great job on her throughout most of the game. We had good help on her throughout the game," Hall-Dale coach Brandon Terrill said. "Obviously she´s the focal point. When crunch time came along, she stepped up a little bit and made a few plays when she had to."
St. Dom´s is now 6-2, while Hall-Dale is 3-6.
The Hall-Dale community used the night to honor two of its families battling cancer. The teams wore pink T-shirts during warm ups, and fans were asked to make donations to cancer research. Prior to the girls game, the school honored Hall-Dale teacher Flo Wilkins, who is fighting cancer. Wilkins and her husband, Jim, took part in a ceremonial first tip, and Flo was greeted by a standing ovation.
"In a sea of pink, we come together to say we love you and we support you," Hall-Dale principal Mark Tinkham said.
Before the boys game, Hall-Dale honored Cheryl Patrick, the wife of boys basketball coach Jim Patrick. Cheryl is also fighting cancer, and Jim took this season off from coaching to help her battle.
The Hall-Dale girls led for most of the game and a Natasha Brown (16 points) shot with 5:55 left in the fourth gave the Bulldogs a 40-30 lead. But down the stretch, things that had plagued the Bulldogs throughout the game, like poor shot selection and turnovers, finally caught up to them.
The Saints went on a 10-0 run and tied the game on a Pomerleau basket with 1:33 to play. Pelletier scored to give Hall-Dale a two-point lead with 1:14 to play, but Pomerleau made a pair of free throws with 30 seconds left to tie the game.
"We were getting a little flustered from their good defense and we knew we needed to make good passes to get the ball to drop down and we did," Pomerleau said.
Hall-Dale´s Allison Crockett had a chance to give the Bulldogs the lead with five seconds left, but missed a pair of free throws. In overtime, St. Dom´s went 9 for 16 at the line to clinch the win, holding the Bulldogs scoreless.
"I feel like I didn´t do a good enough job as the coach, as the leader, of grasping control of the game. Maybe we should have switched some things up defensively sooner," Terrill said. "We couldn´t finish around the basket. We couldn´t get a rebound. A lot of credit to them, they came through when it mattered."
For the game, Hall-Dale had 36 turnovers to St. Dom´s 21. The Saints made 24 of 36 free throws, while the Bulldogs were 4 for 14 at the line.
"Huge. Down the stretch, but throughout the game. We really shot a poor percentage, and they were money in the bank," Terrill said.
Alexis Dwinnell had 12 points for the Saints, while Callie Greco had six steals. Crockett had nine rebounds for the Bulldogs.
Travis Lazarczyk -- 861-9242