Bethlehem avenges loss to Shen with championship victory

But then things start to get interesting in the fourth quarter. Shen cuts the lead to only two points with less than one minute remaining in regulation.

"I'm sure Bethlehem was a little nervous when we cut it to two," said Shenendehowa head coach Ken Strube. "But they made a couple plays when they had to, and that is the mark of a champion."

Who is "they?" It was Olsen, the Class AA tournament's most valuable player. Olsen steals the ball and is fouled as she attempts a layup.

"The best defender in the area. has unbelievable lateral movement and is strong," proclaimed coach Mark Nealon. "Thirty seconds left in the game, she still has that kind of energy and wherewithal to get that steal. You wouldn't expect anything less from that girl."

As her second free throw goes in and the crowd goes wild, the Lady Eagles get back into their defense. They force Shen to take a long-range three-pointer, which is an air ball that goes out of bounds. Taylor Teal then takes the ball and in-bounds it as the final buzzer goes off.

All in one instant three of the team's seniors, Teal, Olsen and McCullough scream and run to center court where they embrace and celebrate their championship.

"We knew this game would be a battle and it was," said Olsen as she laughed under her breath. "And we came out on top."

"It's been a long time coming. Coming here three years in a row and just coming up short last year; we are going to treasure this one," said Nealon.

Bethlehem travels to Liverpool High School Saturday to face Section III champion Cicero-North Syracuse in the Class AA regional final.""

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