Clintonville The AuSable Valley Lady Patriots head into the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class C Final Four on an 11-game win streak, one game longer than the streak of their opponent.
The Patriots will face Bishop Kearney (17-8, winners of their last 10) in the state semifinals at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy Saturday, March 16, at 2:15 p.m. The team enters with a record of 19-2.
The Patriots, who enter the Final Four ranked third in the New York State Sportswriter’s Association poll, started the season winning their first seven games against Lake Placid (69-11), Moriah (45-23), Northern Adirondack (60-43), Peru (42-28), Saranac (49-39), Seton Catholic (59-26) and Plattsburgh High (53-46).
The first setback came against Beekmantown, Jan. 15, as the Patriots held a lead late in the fourth quarter but were unable to solve the CVAC’s leading scorer, Shannon Ryan (38 points), who scored on two critical post plays for a 52-50 Eagles win.
AuSable Valley then scored a 52-43 win over Northern Adirondack before suffering their only other loss of the season, a 42-31 defeat against Franklin Academy Jan. 21.
The Patriots 11-game streak began with a 46-19 win against Saranac Lake, followed by wins against Moriah (58-36), Ticonderoga (56-21), Lake Placid (64-17), Seton Catholic (52-31), Northeastern Clinton (47-40) and Ticonderoga (48-31).
On Valentine’s Day, the Patriots redeemed themselves against Franklin Academy to end the regular season and extend their winning streak to eight. After head coach Roger Long had said his team was, “flat,” in their first meeting against the Huskies, Meghan Strong scored 15 points, which included nine of her team’s 10 points in a fourth quarter that saw the team erase a one-point deficit to earn a 43-37 win.
The Patriots then opened the Section VII/Class C tournament trailing 15-14 at halftime to the Ticonderoga Sentinels Feb. 21. Strong and Taylor Saltus helped spark a 26-2 third quarter to help lead AVCS over the Sentinels, 51-25.