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Above the Rim: Playoff Special – Central, Northampton survive scares

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — Upset scares was the story of the evening Tuesday in Division I quarterfinals as the two top seeds found themselves in precarious situations late.

Top seed Central hosted eight seed Shepherd Hill as a heavy favorite in their first meeting of the season. The Rams gave the Eagles everything they could handle trailing by four inside three minutes to play. Kendra Hicks proved to be too much for the visitors, logging her fourth double-double to lead Central to a 54-48 victory.

Central advances to face West Springfield as the Terriers knocked off East Longmeadow in the final girls basketball game at Doris Haynes Gymnasium. Ruby Spano and Nicki Longey led Westside with 12 points each.

After routing seven seed Chicopee Comp earlier this season, two seed Northampton blew a nine point second half lead after Chelan Rodriguez’s layup with 1:06 remaining tied the game at 46. Northampton would regain the edge with 50 seconds on the clock after Charlotte Maurer’s layup and foul to put the Blue Devils up 49-46. They will advance to play Holyoke after the Knights top Westfield, 46-40. Callie Cavanaugh paced the Knights with 16 points.

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