Cougars defeat Whitehall in play-in game

CANAJOHARIE -It wasn’t pretty but the Canajoharie girls basketball team earned a trip to the Section II Class C first round.

The 14th-seeded Lady Cougars turned the ball over 25 times and committed 20 fouls Friday night in their play-in game against No. 19 Whitehall, but pulled off a 43-31 victory.

“That was a huge win for us,” Canajoharie coach Joe Fowler said. “They were very nervous coming in and they played nervous the whole game because it is sectionals. Now that it is under their belt, hopefully, they will play more the way the can Tuesday night and look better. You can lose and still look good.”

Canajoharie jumped out to a fast start, putting the Lady Railroaders down 7-0 until Rebecca Lavin put Whitehall’s first points in the book with 2:32 left in the opening period.

Abbey Dearwester added a pair of baskets late in the period to stake Canajoharie to an 11-5 first-quarter lead.

The Lady Cougars opened the second quarter with an 8-0 run with six different players scoring to help extend their lead to 24-10 at the break.

Whitehall outscored the Lady Cougars in the third period, which was marked by a combined 14 fouls and 10 turnovers.

Canajoharie built its lead to 15 with 4:07 left in the period before the Lady Railroaders put up a 7-0 run to trim the lead to eight, with just more than 30 seconds left in the third period.

Dearwester converted on 1-of-2 free throws and Jordyn Logan beat the buzzer with her 3-pointer to give the Lady Cougars a 35-23 lead heading into the final period.

Both teams battled through multiple turnovers in the final eight minutes, with both teams hitting for eight points to close out the game at 43-31 in favor of Canajoharie.

Brittany Putorti led Whitehall with 14 points, while Rachel Lavin added six.

Canajoharie was paced by Kara Schwab’s nine-point, six-rebound, four-steal performance. Ariannah Logan finished with five points, four rebounds, four steals and four assists. Dearwester added nine points and Alexis Kane added eight points and five rebounds.

“It was a hard win and it did need to be this hard,” Fowler said. “We made it very difficult. I think it is a learning curve for them because they are so young. We have only two seniors and they contribute a lot but our sophomores really need to step it up.”

The Lady Cougars will travel to play third-seeded Berne-Knox-Westerlo in Berne on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Canajoharie 43, Whitehall 31

Whitehall5 5 13 8 – 31

Canajoharie11 13 11 8 – 43

Whitehall

Ayers 1-0-2, Baldwin 1-1-3, Christian 0-3-3, Davis 1-0-3, R. Lavin 2-2-6, Putorti 5-4-14. Totals: 10-10-31.

Canajoharie

Bowerman 1-0-2, Dearwester 3-3-9, Dillenbeck 2-1-5, Kane 3-1-8, A. Logan 2-1-5, J. Logan 1-0-3, Pitonza 1-0-2, Schwab 4-0-9. Totals: 17-6-43.

3-point goals: Whitehall 1 (Davis); Canajoharie 3 (Kane, J. Logan, Schwab).