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Lady Bombers victim of two 10-0 runs in regional playoffs

PLATTSBURGH-Falling behind was nothing new for the Lake Placid Blue Bombers girls varsity basketball team.

Down 10-0 in the first quarter of their March 8 regional semifinal against Madrid-Waddington from Section X, Bombers head coach Frank Johns was not worried.

"I've seen us fall behind before and I knew that we could come back," he said.

The Lady Blue Bombers proved him right, but the rally over the nest two quarters left them victim to fatigue and another 10-0 run by the Yellowjackets, falling by the final of 36-31.

"We left everything on the court," Johns said about his team, who was unable to connect on a field goal in the final eight minutes of play facing a much deeper squad in the Yellowjackets. "Not getting to practice on (March 7) because of the storm hurt us, but there's no excuses. They were a great team and I wish them the best in the state playoffs. It was a great season, and I am proud of the girls and what they accomplished."

The Bombers started to get back into the game after the first quarter 10-0 run when Danielle Balestrini connected on a pass from Megan Riley. Balestrini scored seven of her 11 points in the first half and was a big reason the Bombers entered the second half with a 17-16 lead.

"Dani got us back into the game," Johns said. "They did a good job on Megan, and Dani really did some good things for us. I think the three that she hit was her first all season."

Balestrini also finished with fives steals with go with two rebounds and two assists.

Under tight coverage, Riley finished with 16 points to go with 10 rebounds, two assists, four steals and eight blocked shots. She scored the only point in the fourth quarter for the Bombers from the free throw line.

"We started rushing things," Johns said about the fourth quarter. "We had seven players and they played 10 deep."

Stephanie Murphy added four points and six rebounds to go with an assist and two steals. Mackenzie Kemmerer was held scoreless, but added four rebounds, one assist and two steals. Ayla Thompson combined five steals and three rebounds to go with an assist, while Lauren Tomich had two rebounds and Catalina Daby added a steal.

The Bombers ended the season as the Section VII/Class C champions with a record of 14-7.

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