The Red Hook girls basketball team has squared off with Mid-Hudson Athletic League divisional foe, Wallkill, twice and each time the Panthers were state-ranked. Tuesday night was the second meeting between the pair and, for the second straight time, the Raiders handed the Panthers a loss.
This time is was Kyla Gabriel's basket as time expired that gave Red Hook a thrilling 55-53 overtime victory to spoil Wallkill's Senior Night celebration.
The Raiders got off to a slow start and trailed the Panthers 18-8 after the first eight minutes of action. A 10-8 advantage in the second period gave Wallkill a 28-16 bulge by the time the teams headed to the lockeroom for halftime.
The Raiders turned up the defensive intensity a notch to start the second half and it paid off when Red Hook outscored the home team 14-2 to knot the score at 30-30. After battling evenly in the fourth period the teams went neck and neck in the overtime session.
With the game still tied and only 12 seconds left, Red Hook took the ball and after working for a shot, it was Gabriel who darted for the hoop to make a layup at the buzzer.
" This is why we love the game," said Red Hook coach Pam White about the nail-biting victory in front of a loud crowd. " The win is so great, but the battle that we fought to get the win is what it is all about."
Julianne Wilkinson led the Raiders with 15 points with six of that total coming in the decisive overtime session. Gabriel ended the night with 13 points with Becky Fildes bucketing 11 points for the winners. Sienna O'Han rounded out the balanced scoring attack for Red Hook with 10 points.
A Raiders win on Friday against Roosevelt will clinch the divisional title and a Mid-Hudson Athletic League playoff berth.