Gates-Chili Rallies Late For State Playoff Win

- Cierra Dillard scored 30 points and Gates-Chili overcame a six-point deficit in the 4th quarter to beat Jamestown 68-61 in the Class AA state quarterfinal held at Finger Lakes Community College Saturday afternoon. 

Gates jumped out to a ten point lead in the first quarter, but Jamestown answered with barrage of long range shots in the second quarter. The Red Raiders made four three-pointers in the quarter, including three by Peyton Butts. The last one narrowly beat the halftime buzzer and gave Jamestown a 34-32 advantage at the break. 

The lead swung back and forth during an entertaining third quarter that, ultimately, changed nothing. Jamestown still led by just two. 

In the 4th, the Red Raiders scored the first four points to open their biggest lead of the game at 53-47. Jamestown made a ton of shots in the second quarter, but kept pace in the third by rebounding many of their misses into second chance points. 

After Jamestown took their six point lead, both stopped happening. 

A Sedria Thomas got the Spartans going and that was followed by a Deja Johnson three-pointer to cut the deficit to one. Dillard put the Spartans on top at the line. Samantha Heiler followed with a hustle steal that deflected to Dillard for a layup. Moments later, Johnson couldn't finish a fast break layup, but Jessica Oechsle stayed with the play and was rewarded with an easy putback. Dillard capped the 13-0 run by finding Oechsle underneath for another easy deuce. Gates-Chili had a 60-53 lead. 

Jamestown would not die easy. The Raiders scored the next four points to cut the Gates advantage down to three points. The Spartans made one of two at the line and Maxine Williams rattled in a three to make it 61-60 with just under a minute to play. 

However, Heiler made two free throws after a Jamestown foul. The Raiders turned it over on a jump ball and fouled again. Heiler made the first and missed the second, but Oechsle was there for another second chance bucket that sealed Jamestown's fate. 

Oechsle scored 12 points, including ten in the second half. Heiler got all eight of her points after the break. 

Chrisanna Green paced Jamestown with 20 points while Butts had 18, but only two after the half. Williams chipped in with 15. 

Gates-Chili moves on to Friday's state semifinals at Hudson Valley CC near Albany. The Spartans will face Ossining from Section I at 6:15pm on Friday. The game will be a rematch of last year's state championship game that Ossining won 86-69. This year, Ossining will be without superstar Suniya Chong who is now playing at UConn. 

The winner of Friday's game plays for the state title on Saturday at 8:45pm. 

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