Eagles fall short of triumph
For seniors Ellen Story, Kelly Grinnell and Erica Johnson, their Brockport careers appeared to be ending on the right note. With a double-digit lead, less than 10 minutes to go in the game and a very supportive home crowd behind them, the Golden Eagles were soaring to a perfect ending on senior night. Then everything came crashing down.
The Eagles (7-18 overall, 4-14 SUNYAC) went cold from the floor late in the game and lost to the Fredonia Blue Devils 63-57 Saturday, Feb. 16.
The Eagles were leading for much of the game, and led by as many as 10 points in the second half.
They led the Blue Devils 51-41 with 9:50 to play, and seemed to be on their way to a victory. But the Blue Devils would go on a 22-6 run over the remainder of the game to steal the win.
"I was proud of our girls' effort for the entire 40 minutes," Head Coach Nicole Beauregard said. "When they went on that run, we just never responded."
The Eagles had no answer for Fredonia's dynamic duo of Jaimie Warren and Becky Hebert, who combined to score 19 of the team's final 22 points.
The free-throw line also played a big role for the Blue Devils, as they would only miss one on the night, going 13-for-14.
Cecilia Sigrist led the way for the Eagles, scoring 19 points on 6-of-10 shooting and collecting 10 rebounds to give her a double-double, her fourth of the season.
"Our offense was great, we just had some defensive lapses that killed us," Sigrist said. "If we missed we weren't getting back on defense, just little things we can work on for next year."
Beauregard talked about what the team is losing with the departure of the three seniors.
"I've never met a group of seniors with so much pride putting on the Brockport uniform," Beauregard said. "Erica and Ellen have been with me for four years, and just seeing them grow and mature from freshman year to senior year has been amazing. They've been with me most of my career here at Brockport, and I've never met a group of girls who love Brockport women's basketball more than they do."
"This was Grinnell's second year with the program and she just has such a high basketball IQ, and she's really a great point guard for us. She plays so big in clutch situations, and we really rely on her."
The three seniors were visibly emotional throughout the night, and it seemed to get to them at times during the game.
"I think it's tough for a senior when you know it's your last go," Beauregard said. "The clock's winding down and we need you to make big time plays, and you're thinking about every move you make on the floor."
Prior to the Fredonia game, Brockport went on the road to play the Buffalo State Bengals, Friday, Feb. 15.
They did not fare much better, and dropped the contest 55-44.
Erica Johnson and sophomore Phoebe Byrnes led the way for the Eagles with 10 points apiece.
The team will now look ahead to next season, and will be trying to make it back to the SUNYAC playoffs for the first time since the 2010-2011 season.
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