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Basketball

Fort Edward Girls Basketball Schedule, Fort Edward Captures First Title Since 2016

Fort Edward players hold up the Class D plaque after defeating Whitehall in the championship game of the Section II Girls Basketball Tournament on Saturday at Hudson Valley Community College.

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TROY — For the Fort Edward girls basketball team, Saturday’s Class D sectional championship was four years in the making.

Four years after their last of four straight trips to the state tournament, the Flying Forts are going back. They turned around a rough first half on the way to a 46-28 victory over Whitehall in the Section II Girls Basketball Tournament at Hudson Valley Community College.

First Section II title for Fort Edward since 2016 #518girlshoops pic.twitter.com/xA331IZfWP

— Pete Tobey (

“This is crazy — we’ve been preparing for it all season, we’ve been really wanting it for the last four years,” senior forward Caitlin Mahoney said. “Playing with the same girls the last four years and winning with them, it’s a really good feeling.”

“It took a lot of hard work and running,” said junior Gaby Thomas, the tournament MVP who led the Forts with 18 points and 15 rebounds. “It’s amazing. So many people doubted us this year that we just wanted to prove to them that we’re a good team and we can make it all the way.”

Fort Edward opens a 20-15 lead early third quarter on this 3 by Gaby Thomas #518girlshoops pic.twitter.com/nopFLJLOe4

— Pete Tobey (

Fort Edward (21-2) advances to play Section VII champion Bolton in a regional final on Saturday at noon at Beekmantown High School.

For seniors Mahoney, Haleigh Condon, Morgan Fish and Isabella Gulick, the championship capped off a long road back. Fort Edward had lost in the first round of sectionals when they were freshmen, then lost in the Section II semifinals the last two years.

“It means a lot, especially to the seniors,” Fort Edward coach Jason Thomas said. “We talk to them about leaving your legacy — the girls before them built quite a legacy.

“For the four seniors I have this year, we’ve been working at this for four years,” he added. “The last two years, a couple of close (semifinal) losses, but today they kind of put a stamp on their legacy.”

The Forts had not played on the big court at HVCC in four years, and it showed. For most of the first half, they were out of sorts, missing shots and turning the ball over — an uncharacteristic lapse for the state’s No. 9-ranked team.

Some of that had to do with Whitehall (13-11), which played furious man-to-man defense, hounding the Forts all over the court. The Railroaders led 9-5 after one quarter and did not surrender the lead until Gaby Thomas tied the score at 12 midway through the second.

Whitehall’s Zoe Eggleston (12 points) responded with a 3-pointer at the other end, but with 1:15 left in the half, freshman Gabby Kholstinin put Fort Edward into the lead for good, 16-15, on a layup off a Gaby Thomas assist.

Neither team shot well in the first half — Fort Edward was 5 for 17, including 1 for 10 from 3-point range, while Whitehall went 4 for 16 from the floor.

“Honestly, we have not played on this court, I think it was just nerves,” Gaby Thomas said. “Everybody was trying and hustling, I think it was just nerves — we didn’t want to mess up and blow it.”

“I make no grand illusions, we’re a jump-shooting team for the most part,” Jason Thomas said. “So when you get into this environment and it’s the kids’ first time ever playing here, and you have nerves and everything else, so it took us the first quarter to settle in. From the second quarter on, we kind of caught our feet and got it going.”

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The Forts exploded out of the gate in the third quarter, with a Gaby Thomas 3-pointer sparking a 14-1 run to open the half, capped by back-to-back 3s by Fish and Mahoney for a 30-16 lead. Fort Edward sealed victory with a 14-5 run in the fourth quarter.

“I think we matched and surpassed their energy,” Mahoney said. “At halftime, coach came in and told us everything that we needed to fix, so we came out and tried to really put it away in the third quarter.”

“They run at you,” Whitehall coach Boyd Hunt said. “They run at you in waves and they keep the pressure on you. Offensively, we got a little stagnant.”

For the Railroaders, the upstart seventh seed, the loss ended an outstanding run over the second half of the season, including six wins in seven games leading up to the finals.

“We’ve come a long way from where we started,” Hunt said. “I’m proud of them, they worked hard, we played good defense for a half. They’re a good team, and they beat us. Sometimes that happens.”

Class D Championship

Whitehall (13-11)

;2P;3P;FT;TP

Zoe Eggleston;1;2;0;8

Kyrie Smith;3;0;6;12

Madison Gould;1;0;0;2

Ashlyn Groesbeck;1;0;0;2

Olivia Whiting;0;0;0;0

Blake Bird;0;0;0;0

Sam Howland;1;0;2;4

Riley West;0;0;0;0

Amelia Lyng;0;0;0;0

Totals;7;2;8;28

Fort Edward (21-2)

;2P;3P;FT;TP

Gaby Thomas;5;2;2;18

Haleigh Condon;2;1;1;8

Caitlin Mahoney;1;1;0;5

Morgan Fish;0;1;0;3

Gabby Kholstinin;3;0;0;6

Belle Gulick;0;1;1;4

Abby Newell;0;0;2;2

Sam Witters;0;0;0;0

Natalie Durkee;0;0;0;0

Totals;11;6;6;46

Whitehall;9;6;5;8 — 28

Fort Edward;5;11;16;14 — 46

Other stats: Howland (White) 7 rebounds. Eggleston (White) 5 rebounds, 3 assists. Smith (White) 4 rebounds. Thomas (FE) 15 rebounds, 6 assists. Mahoney (FE) 7 rebounds. Gulick (FE) 5 rebounds.

Photos: Fort Edward vs. Whitehall girls basketball

Girls Basketball: Whitehall vs. Fort Edward

Fort Edward players huddle after starters were introduced before Saturday”s game against Whitehall in the Section II Girls Basketball Tournament at Hudson Valley Community College.

Greg Brownell,

Girls Basketball: Whitehall vs. Fort Edward

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Whitehall”s Madison Gould is introduced before Saturday”s game against Fort Edward in the Section II Girls Basketball Tournament at Hudson Valley Community College.

Greg Brownell,

Girls Basketball: Whitehall vs. Fort Edward

Players from Whitehall and Fort Edward battle for a rebound during Saturday”s game in the Section II Girls Basketball Tournament at Hudson Valley Community College.

Greg Brownell,

Girls Basketball: Whitehall vs. Fort Edward

Fort Edward”s Haleigh Condon (1) and Whitehall”s Olivia Whiting (10) go up for a rebound during Saturday”s game in the Section II Girls Basketball Tournament at Hudson Valley Community College.

Greg Brownell,

Girls Basketball: Whitehall vs. Fort Edward

Whitehall”s Zoe Eggleston puts up a shot Saturday”s game against Fort Edward in the Section II Girls Basketball Tournament at Hudson Valley Community College.

Greg Brownell,

Girls Basketball: Whitehall vs. Fort Edward

Fort Edward”s Haleigh Condon puts up a shot during Saturday”s game against Whitehall in the Section II Girls Basketball Tournament at Hudson Valley Community College.

Greg Brownell,

Girls Basketball: Whitehall vs. Fort Edward

Players from Whitehall and Fort Edward battle for a rebound during Saturday”s game in the Section II Girls Basketball Tournament at Hudson Valley Community College.

Greg Brownell,

Girls Basketball: Whitehall vs. Fort Edward

Fort Edward”s Haleigh Condon takes a free throw during Saturday”s game against Whitehall in the Section II Girls Basketball Tournament at Hudson Valley Community College.

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Greg Brownell,

Girls Basketball: Whitehall vs. Fort Edward

Fort Edward”s Gaby Thomas is fouled as she shoots during Saturday”s game against Whitehall in the Section II Girls Basketball Tournament at Hudson Valley Community College.

Greg Brownell,

Girls Basketball: Whitehall vs. Fort Edward

Fort Edward”s Gaby Thomas pulls away a rebound during Saturday”s game against Whitehall in the Section II Girls Basketball Tournament at Hudson Valley Community College.

Greg Brownell,

Girls Basketball: Whitehall vs. Fort Edward

Fort Edward”s Gaby Thomas puts up a shot during Saturday”s game against Whitehall in the Section II Girls Basketball Tournament at Hudson Valley Community College.

Greg Brownell,

Girls Basketball: Whitehall vs. Fort Edward

Fort Edward”s Gaby Thomas grabs a rebound early in Saturday”s victory over Whitehall.

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Greg Brownell,

Girls Basketball: Whitehall vs. Fort Edward

Fort Edward”s Haleigh Condon nails an outside shot during Saturday”s game against Whitehall in the Section II Girls Basketball Tournament at Hudson Valley Community College.

Greg Brownell,

Girls Basketball: Whitehall vs. Fort Edward

Fort Edward players celebrate at the end of Saturday”s victory over Whitehall in the Section II Girls Basketball Tournament at Hudson Valley Community College.

Greg Brownell,

Girls Basketball: Whitehall vs. Fort Edward

Whitehall coach Boyd Hunt accepts the runner-up plaque after Saturday”s game against Fort Edward in the Section II Girls Basketball Tournament at Hudson Valley Community College.

Greg Brownell,

Girls Basketball: Whitehall vs. Fort Edward

Fort Edward players hold up the Class D plaque after defeating Whitehall in the championship game of the Section II Girls Basketball Tournament on Saturday at Hudson Valley Community College.

Greg Brownell,

Girls Basketball: Whitehall vs. Fort Edward

The all-tournament team from Saturday”s Class D final of the Section II Girls Basketball Tournament at Hudson Valley Community College.

Greg Brownell,

Girls Basketball: Whitehall vs. Fort Edward

Fort Edward, the winning team in the Class D final of the Section II Girls Basketball Tournament at Hudson Valley Community College.

Greg Brownell,

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Cambridge girls, Fort Edward girls, North Warren boys win Section II titles

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Pete Tobey

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Covering high school and minor-league sports in Section II since 1989. SUNY Plattsburgh grad. Colleen”s lesser half. Three amazing young people call me Dad. Fan of Philadelphia Eagles, New York Rangers and Mets, and Syracuse Orange.

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Fort Edward players hold up the Class D plaque after defeating Whitehall in the championship game of the Section II Girls Basketball Tournament on Saturday at Hudson Valley Community College.

Greg Brownell,

Fort Edward”s Gaby Thomas grabs a rebound early in Saturday”s victory over Whitehall.

Greg Brownell,
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