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A win-win: Riley nets 1,000th; AVCS clinches title

LAKE PLACID - If Megan Riley was going to score her 1,000th career point against the AuSable Valley Lady Patriots Feb. 8, it was going to have to be the hard way.

Riley and the rest of her Lake Placid Lady Blue Bomber teammates were not just facing a team looking to clinch he CVAC Division II title in the Patriots, but also going up against one of the top defenders in the league in Savannah Douglas.

While Douglas and the Patriots did their part, with Douglas holding Riley to six points while guarding her and the Patriots rallying from a first quarter deficit to score a 55-40 division-clinching victory, Riley also got her shot.

With about 15 second left in the game, Danielle Balestrini stole the ball from the Patriots in the frontcourt, finding teammate Stephanie Murphy. Murphy, knowing her team captain and leader was two points shy of the milestone, quickly found Riley and passed the ball to her.

Riley then split through two defenders, got to the basket and put up a short layup which found its way through the basket, sparking an explosion of relief and celebration from both the Lady Blue Bombers and the Lake Placid crowd.

"I didn't think I was going to get it," Riley said, who entered the fourth quarter two points shy of the mark but nursing four personal fouls, one away from ejection. "I was starting to think it was going to have to wait until the next game."

As time seemed to move faster than normal in the fourth quarter, fans grew anxious with the shrinking clock and the four corners offense being run by the Patriots late.

"When it was a 10-point game, we needed to work the clock and give them as few opportunities as possible," AuSable coach Roger Long said. "If Riley had gotten hot, they could have made it a game real quick. We wanted to make sure we had the win, and then, to be honest, I was hoping that she would get the basket."

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