The Albertus Magnus girls basketball charged onto the court to celebrate after the time finally ran out in Thursday's 59-56 double overtime victory over Pearl River in the Section 1 Class A semifinals at the County Center.
The victory did not just earn No. 4 seed Albertus Magnus (14-7) a spot in the championship game 5 p.m. Sunday against No. 11 Peekskill (13-9) at the County Center, it ended a streak of seven consecutive losses to the rival Pirates that included the last two section semifinals.
The Falcons still have that matter of the championship game to earn their first Section 1 title since 2009 and the eighth in school history.
"Peekskill is good," Albertus Magnus Head Coach Pat Buckley said. "They are long. They press. Being young or not being young doesn't matter. They are basketball players. They are well coached. The guy (Peekskill Coach Rodney Headley, Jr.) has a state title. So it's going to be a good game."
The Red Devils are young, without a single senior on the roster. Freshman Lanay Rodney led Peekskill with 26 points in Thursday's 63-59 victory over Pelham in the semifinals. The Red Devils' youth may have shown a little late in that game as they narrowly held on in a game they had led, 19-2.
Peekskill can match Albertus Magnus in size, something Pearl River could not do, but will have to find a way to deal with 6-foot-1 Manhattan recruit Maeve Parahus, who scored 36 points and played a key role defensively in the Falcons victory over the Pirates.
"When we almost lost to Somers (in the first round of the playoffs), a light went on with Maeve," Buckley said. "She is determined, hungry, and she's leading us right now. We can put her on a perimeter player or a post player and she's getting the job done for us. Obviously, she's always a tough matchup offensively. I'm so proud of her. Her will to win tonight was tremendous."
If she can do that one more time, the Falcons could be celebrating on the County Center floor again Sunday, this time with a gold ball.