Christina Dahl told her team that if it played with confidence, good things were going to happen.
And with plenty of self-assurance, all went right for the Beacon High School girls basketball team Thursday.
Hosting No. 19 Sleepy Hollow, the No. 15 Bulldogs won their outbracket game, 75-31, earning entry into the Section 1 Class A tournament. Beacon will head to Montrose on Saturday to take on third-seeded Hendrick Hudson in the opening round.
“We’re going to go down and give them the best game we can give them,” said Dahl, whose team improved to 10-11. “We split with them during the regular season. We know we can play with them, and if we play like we did (Thursday), it should be a very good game.”
Lauren Schetter led the Bulldogs against the Headless Horsemen, notching a double-double with 30 points and 17 rebounds. Enita Rodriguez gave Beacon 18 points off the bench.
Dahl said a few of her starters got into foul trouble, and when Sleepy Hollow put its defense on Schetter, the rest of the Bulldogs put their best foot forward.
“So many people focus on Lauren. It takes the pressure off her when other players step up,” the coach said. “They were looking to create their own opportunities instead of relying on Lauren.”
And at the end of the game, the confidence made the difference.
“I could tell from the beginning — the confidence was there,” Dahl added. “When you play with it, you see a different team on the court.”
A.J. Martelli: email@example.com, 845-437-4836, Twitter: @AJM_PoJoSports