TROY, N.Y. -- Make it three straight for the Heuvelton girls basketball team.
The Bulldogs completed the three-peat Saturday morning with a 78-54 win over Panama in the NYSPHSAA Class D state championship game at Hudson Valley Community College. Heuvelton, of Section 10, improved to 27-1 with its latest state title.
Senior Paige McCormick went out in style, scoring a game-high 31 points for the victors. Madison McCormick added 21 points for Heuvelton, which forced 28 Panama turnovers.
"We played some tall girls, but not nearly as many [as] on that team," Paige McCormick said. "So we had to box out and do the little things. I think we did a great job of that, obviously."
Panama actually had a better shooting percentage in the first half -- hitting 53 percent of its shots to Heuvelton's 46 percent -- but the Bulldogs took nearly twice as many shots (37-19). That, combined with the Panthers' 18 first-half turnovers, allowed Heuvelton to take a commanding 21-point halftime lead.
The Bulldogs never looked back over the final two quarters.
As for a possible fourth straight state crown next year, Heuvelton coach Rob Powers wasn't quick to make any predictions.
"I didn't promise three last year and I won't promise four this year," he said, "but I will promise you this: As soon as softball season's over, we'll be back in the gym working on it."