TROY — Sophomore guard Gabby Giacone recorded a double-double to lead her undefeated Bethlehem squad to a gritty 44-40 victory over Colonie in the Section II Class AA semifinal Wednesday night at Hudson Valley Community College.
It was a back-and-forth battle in the first quarter before the Eagles opened the second quarter with an 8-0 run. Still, Bethlehem held a narrow 24-22 lead by halftime. Colonie, the defending champion, then fell to a 33-24 deficit in the third quarter, but refused to let the challenge go answered.
Sydnie Rosales, senior center, stepped up to sink a clutch deep three-pointer that tied the score at 35 with five minutes left to play. As the final quarter played out, however, it was Bethlehem's senior point guard Bridget Murphy and sophomore guard Kaylee Rickert's ability to capitalize on free throws that earned the win over Colonie.
Leading the Eagles to their third victory over the Garnet Raiders, Giacone finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Murphy added 10 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Rickert contributed 12 points and nine rebounds.
Rosales recorded 15 points, seven rebounds and three steals and senior guard Jaclyn Welch added 13 points to the Colonie squad's effort.
Bethlehem (20-0), the Suburban Council's No. 1 seed, will meet Big 10 champion Albany (19-1) Monday evening at the Times Union Center to compete for the Class AA Sectional Championship title.