The final girls game of another Slam Dunk Challenge is here and it has the potential to be the best game of the week/weekend. Irvington meets Kingston, the top-ranked Class AA team in the state, for the championship. (It would be pretty sweet if both Irvington and Nanuet were Slam Dunk champs, no?)
Kingston (7-0) dropped Ursuline 62-48 on Monday behind electric guard Rachel Coffey, while Irvington moved past Greece Athena, 59-55, and did so thanks to the clutch shooting of Riley Harrington.
If you want to watch the game live, log on to LoHud.com/vcsports1. If you want to follow my live updates, both the witty and the bland, keep it here. I’ll return shortly after tip-off. But as always, stay tuned…
UPDATE: We’re underway.
UPDATE, 6:51 left in first: Riley Harrington is matched up on Rachel Coffey. It appears she is not allowed to help on a driving teammate. Good idea.
UPDATE, 4:56 left in first: Great start for Irvington, which just forced a Kingston timeout. Lisa Bucci and Riley Harrington opened the game with 3’s, and Kelly O’Donnell just found a cutting Tara Gabelman for a bucket. It’s 8-2 Irvington. Also, it appears Gina Maher is splitting Bucci and Harrington on Coffey.
UPDATE, 1:46 left in first: Gabelman has played exceedingly well for Irvington. She has eight point already and has hit two or three jumpers. Irvington leads 16-8.
UPDATE, End of first quarter: Irvington 19, Kingston 14. Gabelman has led the way with eight points. Bucci has added five. Marley Giddens just converted a three-point play with about a minute left in the quarter.
Irvington has had more problems with Charlise Castro in the paint than Coffey so far, but that could quickly change.
UPDATE, 4:58 left in half: Well, Luke Wooters, Beth Wooters’ son, a freshman at Iona Prep, who is probably the coolest kid at the County Center, went seven and a half games without a mistake on the shot clock. His run of perfection just ended when the horn sounded for no reason. Sorry, Luke. It was a heckuva run.
As for the game, Irvington leads 24-22 but is now having to deal with some ridiculous play by Coffey. She just drained two deep 3’s. Bucci answered with one of her own.
UPDATE, 3:18 left in half: 25-22 Irvington. Timeout Kingston.
UPDATE, Halftime: Irvington leads 31-28 at the break. I’ll be interested to get the stats, but I imagine the Bulldogs shot about 60 percent from the field. They passed the ball so well. Still, it must be a little frustrating to know they played so well and yet the score is close. I think it was very important to keep the lead going into halftime. It should give them confidence going forward. Bucci hit a pair of FTs with 10.8 seconds left and Coffey missed the tying 3 just before the buzzer.
UPDATE, 3:03 left in third: Ya know, sometimes Bucci can freewheel, but today her game is in perfect order. She has spent much of the game on Coffey and done a solid job defensively. Offensively, she has 13 points, including a 3 banked in from the corner a minute ago. Bucci has also threaded a pair of pretty feeds for baskets this quarter. Irvington leads it 48-40.
UPDATE, 2:20 left in third: Timeout Irvington. Bulldogs ball. Gabelman needs just six points for 1,000. She has scored 20 already today.
UPDATE, 45.3 left in third: Irvington 48-47. A few turnovers and bad shots have caused Irvington’s lead to evaporate.
UPDATE, End of the third: Irvington leads 50-47. Bucci hit a layup with 15 seconds left to snap an 11-2 run by Kingston.
A big and potentially game-changing play occurred about 20 seconds earlier. Moments after picking up her third foul, Giddens drove to the hoop and made a basket while crashing to the floor. The hoop was waved off and she was called for foul No. 4, meaning she is on the bench to start the fourth.
UPDATE, 7:00 left in the game: Timeout Kingston, which has the ball with Coffey at the line. Still 50-47. Bucci just picked up her third.
UPDATE, 4:09 left: Irvington lost the lead for the first time since Bucci hit a 3 to open her team’s scoring — 40 seconds into the game. Kingston grabbed a 58-57 lead on two baskets from Coffey in the span of five seconds. She missed a shot, got the rebound and scored on a put back. Then, she stole the inbound under the basket and hit a layup. Incredible sequence.
Now Martins has fouled out, putting Castro at the line for two shots.
UPDATE, 2:53 left: Kingston timeout. Kingston ball. Kingston lead, 60-57. It has been quite the fourth quarter for Coffey, who has 10 of her team’s 13 points. Irvington has appeared a little tight the last two minutes, making the type of mistakes that it hadn’t made all game: turnovers, rushed shots, etc.
UPDATE, 2:03 left: Timeout Irvington. Coffey just crossed over about 12 times, drew two defenders and hit Castro for an open layup. Incredible play. She now has 29 points.
UPDATE, :44.5 left: Well, Kingston is going to win it. The Tigers lead 67-61. A great job by Irvington to play as well as it did here, but not the best quarter it has ever played.
UPDATE, FINAL — Kingston 68, Irvington 62: Irvington led by as many as 10 and held a 57-53 lead with 5:16 to play. Kingston scored the next nine points as the Bulldogs went three minutes between field goals.
I’ll have final stats later on, plus the all-tournament team. No one asked me, but someone should call the DA is Rachel Coffey isn’t the MVP.
All-tournament: Shannon Ray, Ursuline; Marley Giddens, Irvington; Tara Gabelman, Irvington; Charlise Castro, Kingston; Ari Parker, Kingston.
MVP: Rachel Coffey, Kingston. 31 points, 10 rebounds.