By JAMES A. ELLIS
CANAJOHARIE — After a low-scoring first quarter, Canajoharie surged ahead with a 16-point second quarter and held off a second-half Fort Plain comeback to register a 43-33 victory in Western Athletic Conference girls’ basketball action Wednesday night at Canajoharie High School.
“We have a very young team with no seniors,” Canajoharie coach Joe Fowler said. “Once they get more court time, they will gel quicker. As the game went on, we put pressure on them, which made them play better.”
Freshman Charlotte Nare accounted for the Cougars’ seven first-quarter points, while Marissa Wilder put the Hilltoppers’ first point of the game in the book.
Rylee Herron opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer that started a 7-2 by Fort Plain to tie the game. A personnel change by Fowler kicked-off a 14-0 run by the Cougars to close out the half with Canajoharie up 23-9.
The Hilltoppers got a combined 15 points from their starters in the third quarter, including 3-pointers from Herron and Zionna Robarge, however, Canajoharie kept pace with 14 points, nine from Nare and five from Blakeslee, to send the game into the final quarter with the Cougars leading 37-24.
Fort Plain cut the score to 10 points midway through the fourth quarter but could get no closer as the Cougars collected their fist victory of the season.
Nare finished with a game-high 22 points and four rebounds for Canajoharie, while Blakeslee added a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds.
“She [Nare] is a freshman and is our scorer,” Fowler said. “We anticipated that and brought her up last year as an eighth-grader to give her some varsity-level court time.”
Herron hit three-3-pointers to lead the Fort Plain scoring with nine points, while Kelsey Buley had seven points and 10 rebounds and Robarge finished with seven points.
“Overall, I was happy with the way they played,” Fort Plain coach Phil Karker said. “We were short two players tonight because they were sick. All things considered, it wasn’t bad. We are young and will get better. They didn’t quit.”
Both teams are off until next Wednesday when Canajoharie 1-2 overall, 1-2 WAC) will travel to play Schoharie and Fort Plain (1-3 overall, 1-1 WAC) will head to Galway for a WAC contest.
Fort Plain 2 7 15 9 — 33
Canajoharie 7 16 14 6 — 43
Fort Plain scoring: Wilder 3-0-6, Herron 3-0-9, Buley 3-1-7, Robarge 3-0-7, Hart 1-0-2, Deese 1-0-3. Canajoharie scoring: Nare 8-4-22, Veit-Scott 1-0-2, Blakeslee 4-0-10, Garret 1-0-3, Memrick 1-0-2, Hazzard 2-0-0. Team totals: Fort Plain 14-1-33; Canajoharie 17-4-43.