Border Country Sports Blog-March 12th
Good Morning! With the Border Country Sports Blog, I'm Keith Harrington.
Hartford vs. Boquet Valley-Class D Regional Final Preview
The Hartford girls basketball team may have to wait an extra 23 hours because of the "Bomb Cyclone" snow event that is rolling through the area today, but that's okay. Jason Johnson's Tanagers will still be ready to play. Hartford will travel to Clinton Community College near Plattsburgh Sunday morning to take on Boquet Valley in an 11 a.m. tip off in the Class D state regional final. The winner earns a trip to the New York State semifinals next weekend.
The Tanagers are 19-4 and are coming off a 73-63 Section II title game win over Saratoga Catholic. Hartford has all the elements to contend for a state title. Three solid seniors in the starting five, two of which have been on the varsity since eighth grade. Post player Karlee Nims and guard Gabbie McFarren are without debate the best to Class D players in the section, and the cast around them provide the perfect compliment.
Four Tanagers scored in double figures in the Class D championship game. When you have a duo like Nims and McFarren and then others become big contributors, Hartford becomes a very tough out. In the Section II title tilt McFarren poured in 22 points and Nims 12. However, the key to the contest was senior guard Izzy French playing perhaps the best game of her career with 18 points, many coming early in the game when there appeared to be a cover on the Hartford basket. Sophomore post player Alawnah Dunda contributed a double-double with 13 points and 14 rebounds.
Nims averages 18.3 points and 12 rebounds a game. McFarren averages 18.1 points per game 3.9 assists. Dunda scores 8.5 a game and contributes 7.3 rebounds.
French chips in 6.6 assists and 4.2 assists a game.
Mckenzie Johnson and Cailin Severance are usually the top two players off the bench for Johnson and both are 3-point threats. Johnson hit to two vital treys in the Spa Catholic game. Junior varsity call ups Ava Nadeau and Reaghan Liebig have seen their roles increase in the playoffs.
Boquet Valley is made up of merged schools Elizabethtown-Lewis and Westport. Both of those schools have had their share of success over the years. The Griffins defeated Schroon Lake 56-30 to win the Section VIi crown and enter Sunday's game with an 18-5 mark.
Boquet Valley is led by junior guard Abbey Schwoebel. Schwobel averages 22.4 points per game as is coming off a 27 point effort against Schroon Lake. Schwoebel also leads the Griffins in rebounding at 8 per game and assists at 3.4
"She's a heck of a player. Abby does everything. She's a great all-around basketball player," Boquet Valley coach Hokey McKinley said about Schwoebel. "I'm glad she's on my team.
Sophomore guard Ella Lobdell averages 11.5 points per game. No other Boquet Valley player scored more than four points a night. Lobdell also keys the Griffin's defense with 3.7 steals per contest. Lobdell scored seven points in the Section VII finale.
The Griffin's defense held Schroon Lake to just six first half points.
Hartflord and Boquet Valley have one common opponent. Hartford defeated Schroon Lake 56-47 back on December 3rd in the Coaches vs. Cancer event.
The Tanagers will receive a send off from the community from Hartford Central School at 7 a.m. Sunday morning. Border Country Sports plans to be there to cover it live on Facebook.
With the Border Country Sports Blog, I'm Keith Harrington.