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RETURN TO TROY: Midlakes girls outlast East Aurora in OT to advance to second straight NYS final four

Almost one-year removed from the Midlakes girls varsity basketball’s loss to Susquehanna Valley in the NYSPHSAA Class B semifinals, the Lady Screaming Eagles stood just one win away from a return to the state final four. Just Section VI Class B champion East Aurora stood in their way as both teams took the court on Saturday evening at Buffalo State for the Far West Regional game that streamed live on (radio replay here).

Midlakes brought a 21-3 record, a second consecutive sectional championship, and a senior laden roster into the contest with 21-3 East Aurora who was led by senior leading scorer Sarah Tully.

Coach Nate Rich’s girls came out of the gates flat falling behind 12-2 early as the Blue Devils seemed comfortable with the fast paced end-to-end action that usually suits the Eagles. Midlakes would struggle to just 19 first half points and would trail 30-19 heading into the halftime break.

Midlakes all-time leading scorer Alaina Forbes struggled from the field in the first half finishing with just 6 points, all in the second quarter. The team’s second leading scorer, sophomore Cara Walker, also struggled to find the mark and was held scoreless in the first half. Fortunately for Coach Rich, senior Macy Kisner was able to provide early offense ending the second quarter with 8 points. Sarah Tully led all scorers in the first half finishing with 10 points.

Midlakes would strike back in the second half cutting the deficit to 5 at the end of the 3rd quarter behind more strong play from Macy Kisner and fellow senior Sydney Passalacqua.

Finally, in the final period, Alaina Forbes caught her stride scoring 10 in the final 8 minutes of regulation as Midlakes held East Aurora to just 16 second half points. Cara Walker converted a three point play with 1:20 remaining and Midlakes eventually forced an overtime period as the fourth quarter ended with a deadlock at 46-46.

The overtime period was all Midlakes as Sydney Passalaqua converted a lay-up on the block off an assist from Cara Walker and then converted another Walker pass into 2 more points by burying a 12 foot baseline jumper. Macy Kisner would go 3-4 from the free throw line and the Screaming Eagles would record a hard-fought 57-51 victory and earn a return trip to next weekend’s NYSPHSAA Final Four.

Forbes led all scorers with 21 points, Macy Kisner finished with 15 and Sydney Passalacqua added 11. The Midlakes scoring was rounded out by 5 points apiece from Cara Walker and Hannah Galloway. East Aurora was led by Sarah Tully who finished with 17 while teammate Kennedy Horning scored 10.

Midlakes will face Canton, who defeated Mechanicville on Saturday afternoon 58-57. The NYS semifinal match-up is set for 8:00 pm on Friday night at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, NY. will stream the game live on FL1 Radio. The state title game on Saturday night is set for an 8:45 pm tip.

You can contribute to FL1 Sports live coverage of next weekend’s games at Hudson Valley Community College here.