Fresh off regional win, Lady Warriors off to state quarterfinals

Lady Warriors off to state quarterfinals
Published: Mar. 10, 2023 at 5:54 AM EST
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - State basketball playoffs continue Friday and Saturday, with seven area teams in search of trips to the state Final Four next weekend.

One of those teams, the Indian River Lady Warriors, will be in search of their first trip to the Final Four at Hudson Valley Community College.

The dream season for the Indian River girls’ basketball team continued on Wednesday night, as they beat Malone 46-30 to advance to the state Class A quarterfinals.

For the Lady Warriors, the win was a first — the first time an Indian River girls’ basketball team had won a state regional playoff game.

“It is. We actually, we played in a regional final 15 years ago right on this court, same locker room, against Malone, lost by 11,” coach Jim Whitley said after Wednesday’s game at Jefferson Community College. “This one was a sub-regional but nonetheless it was a regional, and it felt great. Malone is a great program, well coached. They gave us a test.”

The Lady Warriors improved to 22-2 on the season and advance to the state Class A quarterfinals at Hudson Valley Community College on Saturday at 1:45 p.m., where they will meet Averill Park, the second-ranked team in the state in Class A, for a trip to the Final Four next weekend.

“Saturday’s game is going to be very hard for us,” sophomore center Allison LaMora said. “We’re going to have our work cut out, but if we play our best, if we play hard, we’ll come out with a win.”

“It’s very exciting for us but it’s also, you know, quite nerve racking,” junior guard Raven Marsell said. “I don’t think I’ve ever made it this far really in sports. Just getting there is going to be an experience overall.”

The Lady Warriors enter Saturday’s game ranked fifth in the state in Class A in the New York State Sportswriters poll, and Whitley says he’s still amazed by the things his young team has accomplished and continues to accomplish this season.

“It’s tough,” Whitley said. “I mean when you’re Class A it’s tough in any class but in Class A you’ve got really good Class A schools in Utica and Syracuse. It is — you got your hands full when you’re trying to win a regional. It’s not easy and it takes dedication and commitment and hard work.”