AVERILL PARK, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Come late February, it’s imperative for teams to be playing their best basketball of the season. That appears to be the case for the Duanesburg and Whitehall girls teams. Both squads advanced to the Sec. II, Class C championship game with double-digit victories in the semifinal round Friday night at Averill Park High School.

It was a basketball marathon at Averill Park, as both the Class C and CC girls semifinals were held there. Whitehall, owners of the two-seed in Class C, kicked off the evening with a 58-43 victory over sixth-seeded Warrensburg.

The Burghers reached the semis following a quarterfinal upset of Berne-Knox-Westerlo, and they had the Railroaders on the ropes in the first quarter Friday night. Warrensburg sophomore Eliana York knocked down a baseline jumper at the 4:18 mark, giving her team an early, 10-5 edge.

But Whitehall closed the gap to one point by the end of the quarter, trailing 12-11, and made its’ push in the second frame. Two minutes into the quarter, Railroaders senior Vinna Jensen scored in the paint, claiming Whitehall the lead at 15-13.

That margin grew to three at the halftime break; the Railroaders took a 26-23 advantage into the locker room.

And they started to pull away in the third stanza. Senior guard Madison Gould poured in back-to-back three-pointers to cap a 14-2 run to start the quarter, ballooning Whitehall’s lead to 15 points.

That would prove to be the difference in the game. The two sides traded buckets the rest of the way out, and the Railroaders secured the 58-43 victory, earning a spot in the sectional championship game.

Whitehall junior Samantha Howland recorded a game-high 17 points. Gould joined her in double figures with 16, and senior forward Blake Bird netted 12.

Three players amassed 10, or more points for the Burghers: York had 12, and Karla and Hope Sherman chipped in 10 points each.

So, Whitehall then watched as top-seeded Duanesburg, the reigning Class C champion, powered past fourth-seeded Cambridge 51-27, securing a trip back to the section title game.

The Eagles wasted little time in jumping out to an early lead. They scored the first six points of the game, and held Cambridge scoreless for over five minutes. They maintained a 12-5 advantage after the first quarter.

Cambridge certainly did not roll over, though. It trimmed the deficit to four points midway through the second quarter. Then, with 3:51 to play, senior Schuylar Nolan came up with a steal, and scored a lay-up at the other end to make it a 15-13 game.

But that’s as close as Cambridge would get. The Eagles closed the half on an 8-2 run, capped by a two-point bucket in the paint from junior Allison O’Hanlon off an assist from junior Hannah Mulhern with just over one minute to play before halftime.

That lead quickly grew to double digits in the second half when junior Alex Moses converted a three-point play at the 5:20 mark in the third quarter, giving Duanesburg a 29-17 lead.

The Eagles continued to dominate on both ends of the floor for the remainder of the game, holding Cambridge to just 12 second-half points, while putting 28 up on the scoreboard after the halftime break, en route to the 51-27 victory.

Moses notched a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds. O’Hanlon and Mulhern joined her in double figures with 14 and 11, respectively. Nolan played some inspired basketball for Cambridge, tallying a game-high 18 points.

Duanseburg and Whitehall now meet Monday at Hudson Valley Community College for the Class C championship game. Opening tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m.

Warrensburg ends the year 15-7. Cambridge’s season comes to a close with a final record of 14-8.