Barker's Haight surpasses 1,000 points in Barker boys win over Elba.
Staff Reports Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
The Lockport Lady Lions opened up the Karen Catalano coaching error with tremendous play off the bench in beating visiting Niagara-Wheatfield, 52-46, in a rock’em, sock’em 2013-14 Niagara Frontier League girls basketball opener for both schools.
Lockport (1-0 NFL) benefitted from sophomore Gretta Dry’s 11 second-half points, while fellow starters Alyssa Wagner and Hailey Bechtold netted 12 and 8 points respectively.
But make no mistake about it, the blue and gold got great support off the bench with a tremendous defensive effort from senior Kennedy Smith, who set the tone by causing three consecutive turnovers, clutch free-throw shooting down the stretch from junior Johanna Jenkins (3-for-4 from the charity stripe) and a strong, physical inside game from freshman Kathryn Krchniak (10 points).
Four players, two each from the Lady Lions and Lady Falcons, fouled out in an extremely physical affair in the Lady Lions’ Den.
Coach Catalano said she was extremely proud of her non-starters.
“They were huge for us with Sara being in foul trouble early and Alyssa and Gretta, so we needed those kids to step up,” Catalano said. “Because we have some depth at practice. It’s nothing new to them. They’re used to going against some really good players every day. We have depth. We just need people to come to practice and work hard because you never know when it’s your time.”
The visiting Lady Falcons (0-1 NFL) jumped out to an early 4-point lead, led by a strong inside game from center Allyson Czaja (11 points, 10 rebounds). A Bechtold three-pointer finally awoke the Lady Lions and they eventually battled back to lead 10-8 after one.
Smith and Krchniak provided a huge spark in the second quarter as Lockport out-scored N-W 15-6 to lead at halftime 25-14.
“We’ve given Kennedy the role of defensive specialist and as you can see, she’s fanatastic in that role,” Catalano said.
“I think we came out a little nervous, which isn’t surprising, but it was nice to see role players step up. Krchniak looked unintimidated I thought and (freshman point guard) Carissa DiTullio (3 points) went right out there from the get go and handled the point well.”
With the Lady Falcons clawing back slowing in the third quarter, Dry nailed a couple of three-pointers to maintain a nine-point, 34-25 lead heading to the fourth.
Wagner scored 7 points in the final stanza, Dry added five more with another tre and Jenkins calmly nailed 3-out-of-4 free-throws with 19.4 and 14.6 seconds left to ice it.
“We’ve been reading all week how Lockport and Niagara Falls would be fighting for the NFL title and we kind of took that personally,” said Lady Falcons head coach Kevin Schucker. “They made the shots and when they needed to and we didn’t. That’s what it came down to. But I loved our effort.”
Wilson 53, Roy-Hart 16
WILSON — It was all Lakewomen in the season-opening N-O girls basketball contest on Tuesday evening.
Dana Smith led Wilson with 17 points, Emily Lasher had 13, and Wilson dominated from the get-go in a blowout victory over coach Don Baker’s Roy-Hart squad.
Wilson jumped out to a 17-3 lead after the first quarter and extended it to 29-8 at the half. Needless to say, Wilson coach Brian baker was quite pleased with his team’s output.
”We were able to limit them to one shot per possession,” Baker said. “Our rebounding was good, and we did a nice job of getting the ball out in transition up the floor. We played a heck of a game defensively.”
Brianna Lewandowski and Emma Lindke led Roy-Hart with six points apiece, while Kendra Hill — a transfer this year from Medina — added four points.
Baker was impressed with Roy-Hart’s effort in a narrow 51-41 loss to Nichols over the weekend, and was happy to see his team make such a definitive statement against the Lady Rams in the league opener.
”Coming in, you never know how it’s going to go,” Baker said. “Watching the film, Roy-Hart played well against Nichols, and you never know. I’m just proud of our kids.”
Wilson improves to 1-0 in the league, while Roy-Hart falls to 0-1 in league play, 1-3 overall.
Lancaster 55, Newfane 35
NEWFANE — Sara Saba led the visiting Lady Redskins with a game-high 25 points as Newfane dropped to 2-2 on the season after Tuesday’s non-league loss.
Lancaster led 16-5 after one and 35-17 at the half before coasting in the second half.
Megan Hardy added 12 points for the winners (3-2).
Elba 52, Albion 43
ALBION — Sarah Metzler led the Lady Purple Eagles with 14 points, but it wasn’t enough to keep Albion from suffering its second consecutive loss to open the young season, a 52-43 defeat at the hands of Section V Elba in a non-league contest on Monday evening.
Chanyce Powell also scored in double figures with an 11-point effort for coach Lucian Price’s Albion squad, as the Lady Purple Eagles fell behind at halftime, 27-14, but battled back to make it a tight contest after halftime.
Kelsey Bezon led Elba in scoring with 22 points, including four three-point baskets.
Albion will travel to Akron on Friday evening for a season-opening Niagara-Orleans League contest.
Lockport 69, N-W 30
SANBORN — Head coach Dave Gilson's Lions opened their NFL season with a big win on the road at Niagara-Wheatfield on Tuesday night.
Ryan Lawrence topped the Lions (1-0 NFL, 2-1 overall) with 18 points. Charlie Sobieraski and Ryan Guyton added 11 apiece for the blue and gold.
Barker 77, Elba 47
BARKER — Raider coach Dave Carson was quite pleased with his team’s chemistry and cohesiveness in its non-league victory over Elba on Tuesday night. But when approached after the game, Carson first and foremost wanted to congratulate one of his players on a special accomplishment.
With 21 points against Elba, senior Barker guard Jacob Haight surpassed the 1,000-point mark for his career. A four-year starter, Haight entered the game with 997 points and reached the milestone in the first quarter.
After a standout football season in which he received first-team All-Western New York honors, Haight has kept the good times rolling with his play on the court.
“That’s your headline, right there,” Carson said of Haight’s 1,000-point achievement. “Congrats to Jake. It’s really nice for him; he’s an exceptional athlete, and it’s nice for him to do that.”
Once Haight reached the mark, Barker had no intention of losing the contest. The Raiders took a 23-9 lead after the first quarter and expanded it to 45-19 at halftime, as Haight and the rest of the starting lineup put the pedal to the metal and never let up.
Carson credited senior point guard Mitch Luckman in particular for controlling the game’s tempo and getting all his teammates involved.
“Mitch really makes everyone else better,” Carson said. “He was creating for everyone else, and we kind of rely on him to create for everyone. And when he gets to the basket, it opens everything else up.”
Aside from Haight’s 21-point effort, Luckman contributed 14 points for the Raiders on the evening. Senior Bryce Moeller added 12, while junior Tristan Payne and junior Thomas Callaghan added eight apiece.
Senior Dan Scott led Elba with 12 points in the losing cause, while sophomore John Hochmuth added 10 points for the Lancers.
Barker improves to 2-0 on the season and will open Niagara-Orleans League play on Friday night, in a road contest at Newfane.
NT 51, N. Falls 34
NIAGARA FALLS — North Tonawanda dominated the paint and controlled play for all four quarters en route to a 51-34 win over the Niagara Falls Wolverines. It’s the first Niagara Frontier League loss for the Falls in almost two years and only the third loss to NT since 1999.
The Lumberjacks (2-2, 1-0 NFL) came storming out at the beginning of regulation and took a commanding 17-2 lead after the first quarter. Even when the Wolverines (0-3, 0-1 NFL) were able to get stops they just couldn’t find anybody to step up offensively, an issue Constantino said has been a problem in the team’s first three games.
Wolverines guard Zach Walker scored a team-high seven points for Niagara Falls, sparking a surge in the third quarter to bring the Wolverines to within 12 points with 5:53 left in the period. The senior made a 3-pointer and then, off a steal on the defensive end, found teammate Breon Harris for another triple.
But the Jacks wasted no time responding, as they went on a 16-3 run fueled mainly by their defense. NT finished with 17 steals in the game.
Chris Woodard led the way for the Jacks. He finished with a game-high 15 points, 12 rebounds, four steals and three blocks.