It went down to the final second, but when (2)Mendon missed an off-balance three pointer at the buzzer, (1)East had a 51-48 win in the Class A Championship at Gates-Chili High School.
Rose Ayala scored all 14 of the Orientals' 4th quarter points on her way to a game high 26 point performance.
East led 37-36 after three quarters, but quickly pushed the lead to three. Mendon turned up it's full court press and scored the next five points. Paige Hill hit a jumper to briefly give the Vikings a 41-39 lead.
In this case, briefly means about five seconds. East answered by breaking the press and Ayala finished to tie the game at 41. A putback moments later gave East the lead for good at 43-41.
After an exchange of hoops, Ayala scored two layups in a row and the Orientals had their biggest lead of the quarter at 49-43 with two minutes left.
Mendon finally scored a bucket and dialed up the press again. The Vikings got a steal and on the play East point guard Aaliyah Dunbar fouled out. However, Mendon missed the front end of a 1-and-1 and followed that up with two more free throw misses to remain four points down.
Finally, with a minute left, Courtney Case made a three pointer to pull Mendon with 49-48. The Orientals missed a layup, but Mendon mishandled a pass out of bounds to give East the ball with 24.7 seconds to go.
East did not have to shoot and could have waited for the Vikings to foul, but Ayala drove the basket hard, missed, got her own rebound and scored to give East an important two points of insurance.
Mendon had two chances at three's to tie the game in the final ten seconds, but missed both.
East will now advance to the state quarterfinal game March 10th at Noon. The game will be played at Finger Lakes CC.