Women's basketball earns major victory at Fulton-Montgomery
Johnstown, NY – Herkimer's Generals earned their most noteworthy victory of the season so far at Fulton-Montgomery CC ("FM") on Tuesday evening. The visiting Generals downed the favored Raiders 62-56.
FM had been ranked among the elite top three in the Region III coaches' poll all season, and Herkimer had climbed to #4 in the poll. The Raiders came into the contest with a 13-1 record (11-1 in Region III, Division III) and a good crowd to cheer them on. But the Generals were not awed. Herkimer went to the Johnstown campus with a 12-4 (10-2) mark and a desire to play even better.
The Raiders scored the first two baskets, and Herkimer trailed 5-0. Sam Randio got the Generals on the board with a free throw, and Shileeka Williams netted the first of the four big three-pointers she would score. Randio tallied another two, and then Whitney Brown scored her first field goal of the night, evening the score at 8-8.
It soon became apparent that the Generals were ready to play the Raiders on even terms. The home team led 14-12, but Alexia Brown tied the contest by grabbing a rebound and putting it through the hoop. Then Victoria Seabrooks added three points with a bucket-plus-FT, and the Generals had their first lead of the evening, 17-16.
The score went back and forth. Williams hit another three, and it was 22-22. Randio picked off a Raider pass, sprinted and scored, and Herkimer was back in front. Whitney Brown added five consecutive points for Herkimer, and the Generals led 32-27.
The Raiders re-took the lead. Time was running out. Aniya Webb was fouled with 7.1 seconds left in the first half. She calmly drained both free throws. The teams went into the break with the score 35-35.
Photo: Aniya Webb sinks a free throw to tie the game at halftime
The Raiders opened the second stanza with a field goal. Shi Williams responded with a three. Whitney Brown added a free throw. 39-39.
Williams set up field goals by Randio and Alyssa Craig. Herkimer led 44-41. The talented Raiders fought back and knotted the score at 47-47. Randio and Aniya Webb scored three times from the line, but FM tied the game 50-50.
Whitney Brown got open behind the arc, to the right of center. She scored a three-pointer, giving Herkimer a 53-52 lead with 4:15 left to play. It was a lead that the Generals would not yield.
Aniya Webb entered the contest as the second-best assist maker in all of Region III (5.4/game). She added a beauty as the Generals played their end game. Webb sent a behind-the-back pass to Williams, who was just behind the arc on the right side. Williams' shot was all-net. 56-52.
Photo: Shi Williams sinks a three during crunch time
The Raiders worked hard and got within two. It was 56-54 with 1:46 to play. Then Victoria Seabrooks moved out away from the lane and netted a long two from the left side. 58-54.
The final 20.3 seconds were intense, but Herkimer was managing the end game well. Whitney Brown added a free throw. Seabrooks grabbed a rebound and scored, sealing the 62-56 win.
Head Coach BJ Gouger was quite pleased with the win. "I am very proud of our players. This was truly a team effort," stated Gouger, adding "We did nearly everything that we wanted to do tonight, and we did it together."
The Generals can take a day or so to savor their win, but their practice will also be serious. Their next outing will be Friday night in Delhi. The Broncos are currently ranked #5 among the 16 Region III teams.
Nick Scribe, website writer
Herkimer scoring: Randio 15, Williams 16, Craig 2, W. Brown 17, Aniya Webb 3, Seabrooks 7, Loucks 2, A. Brown 2 – Total 62 Herkimer record: 13-4 (11-2 in Region III, Division III play)