Frontier was rewarded for its patience Thursday night and its ability to sink free throws.
The Falcons advanced to the quarterfinals of the Section VI Class AA girls basketball tournament with a 53-41 win over visiting Clarence.
Frontier went 10 for 13 from the free-throw line in the second quarter. The Falcons were patient against the Red Devils’ defense, and whenever they got an open look they drew a foul as the Falcons outscored their foe 22-8 in the quarter en route to a 31-15 halftime lead.
For the game, Frontier (9-10) went 15 for 23 from the line. Natalie Galus went 7 for 7 from the line for the Falcons, scoring a game-high 24 points to go with 10 rebounds. Lexi Rockey had 10 points and 10 rebounds for Frontier, which plays at Lockport on Tuesday in the quarterfinals. Lockport, the defending Class AA champion, ended the Falcons’ season last year.
Elsewhere in Class AA, Jillian Michael recorded a huge double-double to lead Orchard Park to a 42-32 triumph over Kenmore West. Michael had 18 points, 29 rebounds – including 10 offensive boards – to lead the Quakers (9-10) into the next round at Jamestown.
Rachel Pawlak had 16 points, and Allyson Czaja 12 points and 16 rebounds as Niagara-Wheatfield routed North Tonawanda, 46-27. Melissa Smith had 10 assists and six points for the Falcons, who improved to 13-6.
In Class D, Forestville crushed North Collins, 49-17, as Sydney Youngberg delivered a 35-point gem, which was one point shy of the school record.
Wrestling tourney begins
The New York State Wrestling Championships begin today at Times-Union Center in Albany and conclude on Saturday.
Besides Section VI and state Catholic champions, area wrestlers to earn wild-card berths into the tournament are as follows. In Division I – 99: Troy Keller (North Tonwanda). 120: Anthony Orefice (Lockport). 145: Jose Pagan (Lockport). 152: Terrance Acker (Grand Island). 195: DeQuan Ralands (Niagara Falls). In Division II – 106: Cameron Swick (Roy-Hart), Jacob Peru (Falconer). 113: Andrew Marra (Olean), Ryan Thierman (Portville). 120: Abdul-Fatah Alshawai (Lackawanna). 126: Dakota Gardner (Fredonia). 132: Ryan Kromer (Lew-Port). Tyler Cassidy (Fredonia). 145: Jude Gardner (Fredonia). 160: Miguel Rodriguez-Spencer (Cheek). 170: Ryan Vondell (Eden). 182: Tyler Veno (Portville). 195: Dusty Lewis (Salamanca). 220: Steven Warthling (Tonawanda).