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HARD 2 GUARD FIGHTS BACK-KNOCKS OFF RIM ROCKERS-70-67-KOK HOOPS

 Rim Rockers forward Theresa Hernandez (15) looks to make a move down low.

Jeff Pexton-MHTS/PGI Photo

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It took two overtimes to do it, but 5th seeded Hard 2 Guard defeated 4th seeded Rim Rockers by a score of 70-67, in the first quarterfinal playoff game of Women’s Division of the King of Kings Basketball Summer League, tonight at the beautiful Notre Dame High School gym.

While the vast majority of ladies that make up the Women’s Division are collegians there are several exceptional high school players in the mix.

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Hard 2 Guard center Fran Cotrupe (32) works the low post against Rim Rockers center Gabby Eure (34) late in the first half.

One of those high school players, Teresa Anken, who is entering her senior year at Rome Free Academy, hit the game winning three ball in the second overtime tonight, sending her team into the semifinals this weekend.

It was all Rim Rockers early on as Barrie Brooks (Proctor) connected for five points in the first couple of minutes of the contest, leading the Rockers to a 12-0 lead, with a little over seven minutes to play in the opening quarter. 

Former Whitesboro standout and current Ithaca College senior Fran Cotrupe got busy underneath in the first half for Hard 2 Guard, scoring nine points in the final five minutes of the quarter, pulling her club to within 20-19 after one frame of basketball.

netRim Rockers got in a rhythm in the fast paced second quarter, behind eight more from Barrie Brooks, to take a 35-23 lead into the intermission. 

The Rocker’s defense played a big roll as they sped past Hard 2 Guard into the break. Hard 2 Guard was held to just four second quarter points.

Hard 2 Guard cut the Rim Rockers lead to 47-40 in the third quarter, on seven big points from Raychel Shannon (Chenango Forks /University of Scranton).

A seventeen point period by Hard 2 Guard, did the trick as it was game on.

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Rim Rockers guard Stevie Ray (33) glides toward a second half basket.

Cotrupe did it again for Hard 2 Guard in the closing moments of regulation, when the fiery center took a pass down low and posted up for a basket with just 1.9 seconds to go in regulation, which would send the teams to overtime, tied at 53-53.

The teams were neck and neck in the five minute overtime period, scoring eight points apiece, sending the game to overtime number two, tied at 61-61.

The second overtime was basically a matter of survival of the fittest, with Michael Walsh gym crowded with a whole bunch of fans and temperatures inside hovering around 80 degrees, it was easy to see that both clubs were physically spent after forty-five minutes of basketball in the fast lane.

Teresa Anken’s big three ball came with 1:11 remaining in the second overtime was the difference in this one, sending Hard 2 Guard into the semifinals this weekend at MVCC against top seeded Utica Select.

Diona Johnson (Gates-Chili / Davidson University) led H2G with 20 points and 12 rebounds, while teammate Fran Cotrupe accounted for 15 points in the win.

Shanice Brown (Utica / MVCC) tallied 16 points for Rim Rockers, while MVCC teammate Barrie Brooks added 14 in the loss.

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Hard 2 Guard 71 Rim Rockers 67 2OT

                              1 2 3 4 OT1 OT2 Final

Hard 2 Guard             20 15 12 6 8  9    70

Rim Rockers               19 4 17 13 8 6     67

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Shanice Brown works the point for Rim Rockers late in the contest.