Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online


February 14, 2012

Lady Vikings repeat as NFL champs

Grand Island survives Lockport, 37-36.

GRAND ISLAND — This Valentine’s Day, the Grand Island girls basketball team was out for revenge.

With the Niagara Frontier League title on the line, the Lady Vikings outlasted Lockport at home, 37-36, in a thrilling game that earned Grand Island its second straight NFL crown.

“It’s a real nice Valentine’s Day present,” Grand Island coach Jenepher Banker said. “We actually have two kids born on Valentine’s Day, both Cassie (Oursler and Kassie Bennett) were born on the same day on Valentine’s Day, so this is a nice birthday present, too.”

Oursler (10 points) scored on a rebound inside with 2:50 to play in the fourth quarter, the eventual game-winning basket after a frantic finish in front of a big crowd that saw Grand Island (13-1 NFL) win its fourth NFL title.

“It’s crazy,” Oursler said. “I thought we could do it and I had faith in us, but it took a lot of work. With a new team and new girls — only three returners — we came so far this year to overcome and win the league.”

Lockport (12-2 NFL) had a number of chances to tie in the final minutes of a game that had just two lead changes and one tie, but was close throughout.

“It wasn’t the last possession, it was a possession somewhere in the first quarter, second quarter, third quarter, wherever,” Lockport coach Bill Shaw said. “They just executed one more time than we did.”

Grand Island’s largest lead — a 26-19 advantage early in the third — was quickly erased. Sara Franco (10 points) briefly put the Lions ahead on their last possession of the frame, but a Kallie Banker jumper gave Grand Island the 31-30 lead headed to the fourth quarter.

Banker had 15 points on Tuesday, including 11 in the first half. Her coach said there was a “concerned effort” for the senior to shoot early on.

“They shut me down the first game so I definitely came into this one looking to shoot more,” Banker said. The Rhode Island-bound senior took just six shots in a 44-39 loss at Lockport on Jan. 17.

Trailing by three with under a minute to play, Lockport senior Marissa Guyton was fouled in the paint and made both free throws with 55.9 seconds to play. She made both free throws to narrow themargin to 37-36.

With the crowd buzzing and the tension high, an official walked over to the scorer’s table during the full timeout that followed and asked, “Does it get any better than this?”

Grand Island’s resulting possession ended in a turnover, giving the Lions a shot at the lead.

“We had one play set up and they switched their defense so we switched our play and didn’t execute it very well,” Banker said. “We kind of switched it on the fly. ... at that point were trying to play good defense.”

With 10 seconds on the shot clock, Lockport took an inbounds pass in its zone with 14.4 seconds left on the clock and got the ball to Guyton inside. With four seconds left she let the ball go, crashing to the floor as the shot failed to hit the rim and went out of bounds as the shot clock horn sounded.

Officials, however, ruled it Lockport’s ball and put a second left on the shot clock, with the game clock now stuck at 3.6 seconds to play.

Neither coach was happy. Banker wanted the shot clock violation, while Shaw wanted a foul called on Guyton’s shot.

“I thought Guyton got just crushed on her jump shot with 2.5 seconds to go,” he said. “I don’t know what those guys were looking at, but apparently they didn’t see the same thing I was looking at.”

With one last inbounds play, Lockport’s Alexis Cheatham lofted a heavy 3-point attempt that went off the backboard and out of play. Lockport didn’t press for the final .8 seconds, and the Vikings celebrated a title on their home floor.

“This is exciting,” Jenepher Banker said. “This team, I love this group of kids and they’ve come together real nicely. I’m really proud of this group of kids.”

Lockport senior Emma Sobieraski had 10 points for the Lady Lions.

Text Only
  • 140418 Starpoint CP O'Donnell ART.jpg Grand Finale for Starpoint's O'Donnell

    The Spartans should be in position to make noise in what might be Western New York's toughest division.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140416 LHS Softball ART.JPG Big week ahead for Lady Lions

    The Lockport Lady Lions softball team has plenty to look forward to next week when it resumes its 2014 Niagara Frontier League schedule in a big way, with five games on tap.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140417 Sabres ART.jpg Ted Nolan fires most of his assistants

    The overhaul is continuing in Buffalo after Sabres coach Ted Nolan purged most of his staff of assistants on Wednesday.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140416 Abdallah MAIN art.jpg Abdallah ranked No. 5 in the world

    Lockport's Amer Abdallah has been ranked No. 5 in the world in the Cruiserweight Division by the World Kickboxing Association.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140416 LBA art.png Voss is still boss at City Tournament

    Lockport bowling legend Don Voss rolled a Lockport City Bowling Tournament-record 862 three-game series to earn the handicap doubles title with his daughter, Angel Ritz.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140416 Sabres' wrap.jpg Sabres officially bottomed out with season over

    Things can't get much worse in Buffalo following a season during which the team set numerous dubious lows.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140414 Masters MAIN art.jpg My dear Watson

    Bubba Watson’s second Masters title was nothing like the green jacket he won two years ago.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140411 Masters R1 ART.jpg Haas grabs Masters first round lead

    With dad in his ear, Bill Haas turned in the best round of his Masters career Thursday.

    April 10, 2014 2 Photos

  • 140411 Sabres Rangers ART.jpg Late goal fells Sabres

    Rick Nash scored the winning goal with 1:42 left, on New York's third shot of the third period, and the Rangers clinched home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs with a 2-1 victory over the NHL-worst Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Barker uses Wilson to beat Wilson

    Sophomore Brad Wilson sparked visiting Barker to an opening day 13-4 Niagara-Orleans League baseball victory over Wilson on Thursday.

    April 10, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement Raw: UConn Celebrates for Second Straight Night UConn Women Win NCAA Basketball Championship Raw: Workers at Brazil Olympic Park on Strike Some Arrests As Fans Celebrate UConn Win UConn Wins NCAA Men's Basketball Championship UConn Wins NCAA Men's Basketball Champsionship Connecticut, Kentucky Fans React to NCAA Win Connecticut, Kentucky Meet for the Title AP Player of Year: Creighton's Doug McDermott Fearsome Final Foursome Head to North Texas College Athletes Take Labor Cause to Washington Northwestern Practices After Union Ruling Woods Has Back Surgery, Will Miss the Masters Raw: Obama, 'Big Papi' of Red Sox Take Selfie Raw: LA Angels Don Baylor Suffers Leg Injury Seahawks, Sounders Visit Town Near Mudslide Milwaukee Brewers' Adopted Mascot Is Big Hit Tigers' Cabrera Gets Record $292M, 10-year Deal
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide