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Briarcliff Falls to Dobbs Ferry in Class B Playoff

DOBBS FERRY, N.Y -- The Dobbs Ferry girls’ basketball team recovered from a sluggish first half with a third-quarter run Wednesday and earned a spot in the Section 1 Class B Final Four at the Westchester County Center with a narrow 39-36 victory over visiting Briarcliff.

“We heard it from our coach (Eric Bartell) at halftime and came out playing more aggressively in the second half,” Eagles’ guard Kristin Foresti said. “We weren’t making our shots. We played better in the third quarter.”

The Eagles (15-5), seeded No. 3 in the tournament, will face No. 2 seed Blind Brook in the Class B semifinals next week. Blind Brook defeated No. 7 Croton Wednesday.

Dobbs Ferry overcame a 19-16 first-half deficit and used an 11-14 third quarter run to take a 28-23 lead and then held on for the win over the sixth-seeded Bears, who finished their season with a record of 12-8.

Kristy Degener fought off a tough Briarcliff interior defense to score 10 of her team-high 14 points in the second half. Degener scored eight of her points in the 12-4 third-quarter surge.

“It was a physical game and I wanted to get to the basket and finish shots,” Degener said. “I think we played better in the second half because we worked for offensive rebounds and played good defense."

Briarcliff trailed 35-25 with less than four minutes remaining in the game but used an 8-2 run to narrow the deficit to 37-33. Brianna Celaj, who finished with a game-high 14 points, hit a running layup to cut the Eagles’ lead to four points with 54 seconds remaining in the game.

Alyssa Chipelo had 12 points and helped Foresti press the Bears’ guards in the second half as the Eagles allowed just 17 points after intermission. Jeana Corradina had two big 3-pointers to help the Eagles offensive effort.

“We’re happy to get a chance to play at the County Center,” Chipelo said. “We definitely played a better second half, but we will have to some out stronger in our next game.”

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