Johnstown girls reach Class B title game

JOHNSTOWN – The Johnstown Lady Bills are one win away from a Section II Class B championship and the only team that can stop them from achieving that goal is a familiar foe.

The Lady Bills (15-6 overall) will battle the Tamarac Lady Bengals today at Hudson Valley Community College. The Lady Bengals hold a 19-2 record and went undefeated in Wasaren League play.

Johnstown and Tamarac met on Dec. 28 with Tamarac holding off a late Johnstown rally to pick up a 61-52 victory.

In that game, Johnstown got off to a slow start offensively and trailed 13-5 after the first quarter. The Lady Bengals won the second frame by 10 points to carry an 18-point lead into halftime. Johnstown responded out of the break with 17 third-quarter points but didn’t have enough firepower to climb all the way back.

Adiya Henderson and Jenna Erickson, Tamarac’s top scorers, each went for 20 points in the win. Erickson did most of her damage from the charity stripe but leads Tamarac with 45 three-pointers so far this season.

Johnstown head coach Tim Derwin said his team won’t have to prepare for the same defensive pressure that their semifinal opponent Watervliet brought, but they will have to neutralize Tamarac’s scorers to be successful.

Johnstown’s offensive statistics don’t quite match up with Tamarac’s, but Johnstown spent the season playing against a healthy slate of Class A schools.

Hope Cerasuolo will look to hit her average of close to 16 points while the defense and rebounding of Annie Stock and Brianne O’Rourke will be key. The more possessions Johnstown can take away from a high-octane offense like Tamarac’s, the better.

While Cerasuolo’s 334 total points easily lead the Lady Bills, she isn’t the only option Johnstown has to look to when in need of a bucket.

Kelsi Barnholt, Megan Anagnostopulos, and O’Rourke have all tallied at least 100 points this season while Stock has hit for 98. Barnholt is Johnstown’s most potent weapon from downtown while Anagnostopulos also holds value as the Lady Bills’ relentless floor general.

The Class B championship game is the second of four Section II title games being played today at HVCC. Tip off is set for 1:45 p.m..