Thursday, December 12, 2013
By Matt DiFilippo firstname.lastname@example.org
FARMINGDALE -- Sadie Goulet is a shooter. Like all shooters, sometimes she goes through slumps. Goulet has been in one lately, as she is still recovering from a hip flexor injury.
But with Oak Hill's game against Hall-Dale tied with eight seconds left, Oak Hill coach Tom Morong wanted the ball to go to Goulet. She got it, gave it up, and got it back just in time to drain a 3-pointer from the right wing at the buzzer, giving Oak Hill a thrilling 47-44 girls basketball victory on Tuesday night.
"She's been struggling with her shooting," Morong said. "When she's on, she's maybe one of the best shooter's around. She's had about four games in a row where she just can't buy a hoop.
"But she's got a shooter's mentality: The next one's going to go in. So I had no fear of her shooting that shot. That's who I wanted shooting it."
Combined, Oak Hill (7-7) and Hall-Dale (6-7) have lost 10 games by seven points. Naturally, this one went down to the last second. Hall-Dale actually led 42-33 with less than six minutes to play, but Goulet scored six straight points, and freshman Jamie Prue knocked down a 3 and got a steal and layup to tie the score at 44 with 56 seconds left.
Hall-Dale threw the ball away -- the Bulldogs 11th turnover of the fourth quarter -- with 33 seconds to play. After two timeouts, Oak Hill inbounded with eight seconds left.
Julie Morneault got the ball in to Goulet, who gave it back to Morneault. When Morneault passed the ball inside to Kayla Veilleux, Veilleux was double-teamed. She nearly lost her balance but fed the ball back out to Goulet, whose shot beat the buzzer.
"Honestly, I didn't know Kayla Veilleux was going to pass it to me," Goulet said. "I was actually really excited for her. I thought she was going to go up for a layup. I was surprised she passed it out to me, and happy I got it in, because it was really nerve-wracking."
When Veilleux tried to maneuver through the double-team in the post, the Hall-Dale fans shouted for a traveling call, and Hall-Dale coach Brandon Terrill thought they might have had a point.
"I thought she shuffled her feet, but (we) didn't get the call," Terrill said.
Hall-Dale did many impressive things despite the loss, and the Bulldogs got the lead as high as eight or nine points on several occasions. Nicole Pelletier (11 points) helped build a lead in the first quarter, and Allison Crockett (11 points, 16 rebounds, four blocked shots) was a tough matchup all night. Until Goulet went off in the fourth quarter, Hall-Dale's Natasha Brown was in line to be the star of the game. Brown hit four 3-pointers, including three in the second half, and had a game-high 14 points.
But every single time Hall-Dale got close to a double-digit lead, the Raiders stormed back. With Brianna Hodgkins (12 points) scoring inside, Oak Hill ended the first half on a 7-0 run to close within 20-19 at the break. Morneault hit two 3-pointers in the third quarter to keep Hall-Dale from pulling away.
"My favorite thing about this team is, they don't watch the scoreboard," Morong said. "Sometimes, when we take a one-point lead after coming back, I wish they'd watch the scoreboard. But they basically play with no fear, and I love that."
Oak Hill entered Tuesday 12th in Western B (where 12 teams make the tournament) so every win is huge for the Raiders. Hall-Dale, which should be in good shape for the Western C tournament, just needs to win a close game.
"We've been in a lot of these close games this year, and unfortunately, they've all gone the other way," Terrill said. "I think when it starts happening again, I think it starts creeping into the back of our minds. I think it comes from a good place. They so badly want to win."
Matt DiFilippo -- 861-9243