Herkimer women win tense game with North Country 66-63
Herkimer, NY – The Generals led by 12 at the break, but the fighting Saints of North Country CC came back and took the game right to the wire. Herkimer held on and earned a 66-63 win in the Saturday afternoon contest.
The game began with each team tallying two points, and then, just 65 seconds into the contest, Herkimer suffered an awful blow. Starting guard Allie Webb, who has been a key player over the past two seasons, went down with a knee injury. She was unable to play again on Saturday.
North Country scored a three. The teams traded attacks, then Shileeka Williams sank a three and Whitney Brown converted on a three-point play. Herkimer led 10-7, and they started increasing that lead.
"Shi" Williams proved to be a force all day. Williams passed to Victoria Seabrooks, who scored a field goal; then Williams scored one herself. The score was 15-11, nine minutes into the game.
Samantha Randio also had a prolific outing. Randio scored two FGs in a row, upping the score to 19-11.
Seabrooks tallied two, then passed to Randio, who scored and was fouled. Randio sank the free throw, and Herkimer led 24-16.
Williams intercepted a Saints pass and scored on a breakaway. She then started a particularly nice play that went Williams to Randio to Whitney Brown. Brown's two made it 28-21.
Photo: Shi Williams scoring after intercepting
The Generals continued to outplay the Saints in the first half. The halftime score was 37-25.
Herkimer kept up the pressure early in the second half. By the time Aniya Webb scored from the floor and Williams netted two more points after another interception, the Green & Gold led by 21 points, at 48-27. But the Saints were not giving up.
The visitors kept chipping away at the Generals' lead. They closed the gap to eight points; then a William's field goal got the lead back to 10. 57-47.
Photo: Victoria Seabrooks scoring two
Whitney Brown sank a three, and Seabrooks grabbed a couple of key rebounds, but the Generals suddenly were having trouble scoring. The Saints kept attacking and narrowing the Herkimer lead.
North Country sank two from the line with 1:58 to play. 62-57, Herkimer. The Saints were rebounding well, and they scored a three-pointer with 1:19 to play. That cut the Generals' lead to just 62-60.
That final 1:19 of clock time was as tense as the game gets. The visitors committed some intentional fouls, and Aniya Webb went to the line. She sank two FTs with 24.1 seconds left. 64-60.
A North Country layup made it 64-62. The Generals and Saints traded free throws. The score was 65-63. Another foul sent Herkimer's Williams to the line. She scored one from the stripe with 9.6 seconds left. The Generals hung tough and won the game 66-63.
After the game, Coach BJ Gouger assessed the contest. "I thought we did a nice job early on," stated Gouger, who quickly added, "Give them (North Country) credit – they played hard, they made the shots, and they made the game interesting." Gouger also had praise for Randio and Williams, particularly for their defense. "Sam played nice defense and set the tone out there," declared Gouger, "and Shi is a very good defensive player."
The team's record is now 5-2. The Thanksgiving break has begun, so the team will not play again until November 28, when they will travel to Tompkins Cortland to take on the Panthers.
Nick Scribe, website writer
Herkimer scoring: Randio 15, Williams 13, W. Brown 19, Aniya Webb 6, Seabrooks 11, A. Brown 2 – Total 66