Generals savor Senior Night win
Herkimer, NY – The visiting Vikings of Hudson Valley CC outplayed the Generals in the first half, but Herkimer responded with a mighty effort in the second stanza and downed the visitors 71-55. The win was a splendid start to the Senior Night doubleheader.
The squad's seniors were honored before the game, and they all were in the starting lineup at the opening jump. A pictorial story about the festive Senior Night will be posted on this website later today.
Shileeka Williams has had a strong first season at the college level, and she's stepped up her well-rounded game in recent outings. Williams scored Herkimer's first points of the game, and then went on to lead the Generals with 25 points.
The visitors took an 8-2 lead, but the Generals quickly came back. Williams stole the ball and scored. Samantha Randio scored two, and then drove for two more. Williams hit for three from the left side, Victoria Seabrooks sank a free throw, and the game was tied 12-12.
Whitney Brown took a pass from Aniya Webb and scored. Webb sank a three from the left. Herkimer led 17-14, and things were looking good for the home team. But then the Vikings put together an amazing scoring run. Hudson Valley tallied 17 points while Alyssa Craig's three-pointer was all that the home team could put on the board. The score was 31-20, Hudson Valley.
The Generals got their offense going again late in the half. Seabrooks took a feed from Whitney Brown and scored. Williams drove for two. Seabrooks added a three-point play. The teams went into the break with the visitors ahead 35-29.
Photo: Sam Randio driving for two points
The second half began, and Herkimer looked like a much-improved team. They held the visitors in check while attacking and scoring.
Soon Williams dashed in for two, and Herkimer trailed by just one, at 37-36. Whitney Brown scored, and Herkimer had the lead. The Generals were rebounding well, transitioning well, and producing scoring opportunities. The Herkimer Five built on their lead and did not allow the Vikings to get close again.
The Generals did commit some fouls. Randio was assessed her fourth with 6:11 to play. Whitney Brown fouled out with 2:13 remaining. But the team kept playing well at both ends of the court.
Head Coach BJ Gouger had all of the available seniors on the court for the end of the game. Fittingly, senior Aniya Webb scored the final points of the contest by netting two from the foul line.
After the game Coach Gouger discussed the second-half improvement in Herkimer's play. "We talked at halftime about how we are a defensive team, and then we went out and picked up the intensity." Gouger added, "We're glad that we could send our seniors out with a win – that's what we wanted tonight."
Herkimer is now 21-7 for the campaign so far. They will finish the regular season at Schenectady on Saturday with a 1:00 p.m. game. The Region 3 championship tournament will be played at Mohawk Valley March 1-3. There is a good chance that Herkimer will be seeded #3 for that eight-team event. As soon as the seedings become official, this website will post them.
Nick Scribe, website writer
Herkimer scoring: Randio 13, Williams 25, W. Brown 6, Webb 9, Seabrooks 12, Craig 6 – Total 71