TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — It can not be overstated just how significant it is for a team to reach the final four of a state tournament in back-to-back seasons. And while the Averill Park girls basketball team may have fallen short in the semifinals of the NYSPHSAA Girls Basketball Championships, that doesn’t take away from what a special season the Warriors put together.

Even after losing two key members of last year’s state championship team, Averill Park managed to put together yet another run to the Class A final four. But Sean Organ’s bunch could not overcome Sec. I’s Walter Panas Friday afternoon at Hudson Valley Community College, losing 47-42.

Averill Park wasted little time getting on the scoreboard. Junior forward Tatiana Tune collected the opening tip, and immediately found senior guard Baliee Lange for an open lay-up just four seconds into the game.

But what ensued was a near-10-minute scoring drought for the Warriors, and the Panthers pounced during that stretch. With 6:05 to play in the second quarter, sophomore guard Sofia Tavarez scored a fast-break lay-up to cap a 17-0 run, giving Walter Panas a 17-2 advantage.

The Warriors managed to trim the deficit to single digits before the half. Junior forward Taylor Holohan converted on a turn-around from the right block with seconds remaining in the second quarter, cutting the lead down to nine points at 26-17.

After a third quarter that saw Walter Panas outscore A-P 15-8, the Warriors were faced with a 16-point deficit heading into the final stanza.

Sean Organ’s bunch dug deep, and battled back, though, whittling the lead down to four points with 1:38 remaining after back-to-back three-pointers from sophomore guard Kayleigh Ahern.

But the Warriors simply didn’t have enough time to complete their comeback. Walter Panas managed to salt the game away at the free line, bringing Averill Park’s season to a close with the 47-42 victory.

Holohan, the Sec. II, Class A Tournament Most Valuable Player managed to score a game-high 19 points despite sitting much of the second quarter with foul trouble. Tavarez and sophomore Cadence Nicholas joined her in double figures with 10 and 17 points, respectively.

After the game, Organ relayed the message he gave his team that sparked their valiant comeback effort.

“At halftime, and then especially in between the third and fourth quarters – we were down 16 – the first thing that I told our kids was, “I believe in you,”” said Organ. “”If you guys are the team we think you are, we’re gonna make a good run at that (lead.)” True to their character, that’s exactly what they did. We cut a 16-point lead down to four points with a minute-and-a-half to go; it just didn’t happen for us. You know, they (Walter Panas) made a couple of shots; they banked a couple shots in, made a couple threes. They just made a few more plays than we did today, and, you know, nothing to be ashamed of for that loss.

Averill Park concludes the season with a 22-3 overall record. The Warriors do lose Lange to graduation this year, but will return a host of talent next season, including Holohan, Tune and sophomore guard Arianna Verardi.