The Voorheesville girls basketball team put on a defensive clinic.
The Blackbirds forced 38 turnovers and more than a dozen jump balls on their way to a 45-31 victory over Section X champion Madrid-Waddington in last Saturday's Class C regional at Hudson Valley Community College.
Voorheesville (16-7) advances to this weekend's state tournament at HVCC. The Blackbirds meet Section V champion Gananda at 2:15 p.m. Saturday.
We're looking forward to the challenge, said Voorheesville coach Robert Baron, who will be involved in his first state semifinal in his four-year varsity career. "Every game is a step up, and you have to be ready to make that step."
It didn't appear that Voorheesville was ready to make the step up against Madrid-Waddington in the first half. Despite all the turnovers, the Blackbirds never got their offense on track as they slowly built an 18-13 halftime lead.
"We weren't really focused," said Baron. "What we did was we settled for jump shots instead of getting the ball down low to our forwards."
Voorheesville started finding its for-wards in the second half, as Sarah Madden and Anna Feller made some tough shots down low to help the Blackbirds expand their lead to as much as 17 points.
"We usually have a height advantage [over our opponents], so we like to get it down low," said Madden, who finished with a team-high 12 points. "Anna and I have been working on our layups and our short jump shots a lot in practice."
"When we get those inside shots, it makes everything easier because then you start opening up those outside shots," said Baron.
Madrid-Waddington made one stab at a comeback early in the fourth quarter. Down 33-17, the Yellowjackets went on an 8-0 run capped by consecutive three-pointers by Bridgett Beldock to trim Voorheesville's lead to eight points.