Taconic Girls Rally to Reach State Final

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Tamia Patrick hit a 3-pointer in the closing seconds, and the Taconic girls basketball team Wednesday overcame a 13-point half-time deficit to beat Medway, 48-46, in the Division 2 State Semi-Finals at Western New England University.
Patrick, who scord nine of her 11 points in the second half, took a cross-court pass from Ciany Conyers (11 points, five assists) on the left wing and dropped a shot that rattled off the rim before settling through the hoop to erase a one-point deficit and provide the margin of victory that sends Taconic to Saturday's state title game.
"Oh my God, I was hoping the way it was going in the way it bounced up," Patrick said with a laugh.
"I thought I should have gone in for the lay-up, and if I didn't make it, at least I could have gotten fouled. But then I was like, looking at the score and thought, we kind of need a 3. So I was like, 'Let's just go for it.' "
Taconic coach Matt Mickle had all the confidence in the world that the senior guard would get the job done.
"She's actually been doing it for us all year," Mickle said. "The funny thing is she wasn't scoring early in the year, and she was getting a little bit frustrated. But she's been doing everything for us.
"She's really come alive the last two or three games and made huge shots for us. The kids all trust her. They love her. She's a good shooter and a gamer for us."
Taea Bramer score 13 points, and Ahliya Phillips had eight for Taconic, which faced a double-digit deficit going into the second half.
Mickle said the team needed to settle down and start running its offense, and it used the half-time break to full advantage.
"Their 1-3-1 was driving us crazy," Mickle said of Medway's defense. "We had tried to put something new in, which was probably a terrible idea to do the last couple of days of the season.
"So we kind of went back to what we know, really tried to get Ciany the ball in the high post and try to create some stuff down low. ... I thought the ball movement was better, and that was creating better shots."
Taconic scored on nine of its first possessions of the second half to storm back and take a 33-31 lead.
Faith Cross scored on a couple of looks in the post on assists from Bramer and Conyers, and Conyers set up Phillips twice in the post before knocking down a 3-pointer from the left wing corner to give Taconic a 30-29 lead with 2:43 left in the third.
Medway came back and took a 42-37 lead midway through the fourth, but Taconic answered with an 8-2 run.
Conyers scored on a pull-up jumper in the lane and a baseline jumper and set up Bramer with a 3-pointer in the run, which ended with Taconic up, 45-44 with 41 seconds left.
Medway got a bucket in transition to retake the lead.
But Patrick provided the gamewinner moments later.
The Mustangs had a couple of looks at the basket in the final 10 seconds, but time ran out with the ball in Medway's hands in the post.
Medway broke open the game with an 11-0 run in the second quarter to take a 24-8 lead.
Lauren Beach got the run started when she scored on a baseline inbound play with about six minutes left in the half to make it 15-8.
The run ended five minutes later with a bucket by Emma D'Entremont to put her team up by 16.
After a Taconic timeout, it answered with a Taea Bramer 3-pointer after Ciany Conyers extended the possession with an offensive rebound.
Amy Johnston got a basket at the other end for Medway, but Taconic's Bramer closed the half when she was fouled with .6 seconds left and drained both free throws to send her team to the locker room down, 26-13.
Bramer had a team-high seven points at half-time. Beach led Medway with nine points.
Patrick said her team had to talk things out after the second quarter.
"It was definitely something different," she said of the deficit. "We've been working together since we were in maybe sixth grade, going through AAU and stuff like that. So we had a pretty good chemistry.
"We got into the locker room and talked it out. We knew we were a better team than that. We're a good, athletic, fast team. They were taller than us, but we had to get through that as a team."
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