TROY – Like she did so many times during the course of the Section 2 Class C girls basketball final, Sophie Phillips drove the lane looking for either a shot or a foul. She got the shot.


Phillips hit the go-ahead basket with 13.1 seconds left in overtime to help No. 1 Cambridge knock off No. 2 Mekeel Christian Academy 62-59 Saturday, March 3 at Hudson Valley Community College.


“I knew we just needed it, any way we could get it,” said Phillips, who finished with a game-high 19 points and was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player.


“One of the big keys to the game was to drive to the hoop,” said Cambridge coach Anthony Bochette. “They saw the lane, and they were aggressive to the basket.”


Rebekkah Dean paced Mekeel with 17 points and 10 rebounds, but she suffered an ankle injury on the opening tip of overtime.


“She was playing well. She was finishing off down low,” Mekeel coach Kelsey Collins said of Dean. “She could have helped us (in overtime).”


Sophie's twin sister, Lily Phillips, opened the scoring in overtime with a runner in the lane. Liz Singleton made one out of two free throws with 1:06 left, and dished a pass to Maraya Davis for a layup with 22 seconds left to give Mekeel a 59-58 lead.


Cambridge didn't take a timeout to gather itself, though. Instead, the Indians put the ball in Sophie Phillips' hands, and the freshman guard delivered the shot that propelled them to their first Sectional title since 2001.



“They showed they were much more mature than freshmen,” Bochette said of the Phillips twins and Fiona Mooney, who added four points and seven rebouds.


Mekeel built a 33-23 halftime lead on the strength of six three-pointers, but Cambridge stormed back with an 18-8 run to tie the score at 41-41 late in the third quarter. Madison Show nailed a three-pointer with three seconds left in the period to put the Lions ahead 44-41.


“They just came out with more energy than we did,” said Collins.


Show nailed another three-pointer to start the fourth quarter to make the score 47-41, and for a while, Mekeel managed to maintain a two-possession lead before a three-pointer from Grace Snyder and foul shots from Helen Mooney and Lily Phillips put Cambridge ahead 52-51. Altagracia Delarosa answered with a three-pointer to give Mekeel a 54-52 advantage, but two foul shots from Sophie Phillips and an open jump shot by Mooney propelled the Indians back into the lead.


Mekeel's Jillian Ballard tied the score at 56-56 with a driving layup in the final 35 seconds of regulation, and a Cambridge shot fell short with one second left to send the game into overtime. Neither team scored a point through nearly the first two minutes of the extra period before Lily Phillips made her shot.


Mooney netted 14 points and pulled down 12 rebounds, and Lily Phillips added 11 points and eight boards for Cambridge, which advances to the Class C regionals at Saratoga Springs High School.


“We're going to watch some film to see who we've got the next game,” said Bochette. “First, I'm gonna let the girls have a day (to celebrate).”


Delarosa sank four three-pointers and finished with 12 points, and Show added 11 points for Mekeel.




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