CANANDAIGUA — This one’s going to gnaw at Jamestown for a while.
The Red Raiders girls basketball team exchanged blows with Gates-Chili all game before succumbing, 68-61, in the Class AA game at the Far West Regionals. Section VI lost four of the five games to their Section V counterparts on Saturday. The only team to win was Chautauqua Lake in Class C.
The Red Raiders were leading 53-47 in the fourth before the Spartans went on a 13-0 run, ending Jamestown’s dreams of a berth in the state final four. The Spartans helped themselves, going 8 of 10 from the line down the stretch. The game was rematch of last year’s Class AA game, also won by Gates-Chili.
The Red Raiders start five juniors and one came through with the game of her life. Leading scorer Chrisanna Green poured in her usual 20 points, but it was Peyton Butts who was in the zone in the first half. Butts, who averages 6.9 points per game, had 16 in the first half, including four three-pointers in the second quarter alone. She finished with 18 points.
“It’s funny because before the game I heard her talking, ‘I’m not as good a shooter as Anne Campion,’ ” said assistant coach Ken Ricker, “and I said to her, ‘you are tonight,’ and in the first half she was on fire.”
Ricker was on the sidelines for Jamestown as head coach Tim Anderson stayed home as his wife is expecting a child.
While Jamestown got contributions from many, Gates-Chili’s offense ran through one player. Senior Cierra Dillard, who has signed with UMass.
She would hands down be the Player of the Year in Section VI. She is deadly from three-point range and finds the holes in any defense to score inside. A lot of her pinpoint passes could not be handled by her teammates. She finished with 30 points.
“She’s tremendous,” said Ricker. “She’s so good, when she gets in the lane, whether it’s 12 feet away or three feet, it doesn’t matter, she’s going to score.”
Jamestown started the game a little sluggish and fell behind 17-12 after the first quarter. Gates went on a 10-0 run in the first quarter and the game’s momentum was all theirs.
Jamestown fell behind 23-12 early in the second quarter and needed to find an answer quickly. That’s when Butts led a 13-2 run in which the Red Raiders hit their last five shots before the half.
Williamsville South hung around for a quarter and that was about it in a 58-36 loss to Pittsford-Sutherland. A sloppy first quarter ended tied 6-6. South was a dismal 2 of 16 from the floor. The Knights had just as much trouble getting their offense on track.
Pittsford-Sutherland found its stroke in the second quarter outscoring South, 18-3, ending the quarter on a 14-0 run. South’s Emily Smith hit a jumper just 23 seconds into the second quarter giving her team its only lead of the game, 8-6. It proved to be her team’s only field goal over the 8 minutes.
“I thought if we made sure we came out strong on defense … but we were struggling on offense and not many shots were falling,” said Will South coach Kristen Dolan. “I think from there it just snowballed and we lost that luster.”
South, 17-6, scored 20 points in the third quarter, but on the other end its defense gave up 27, many on easy baskets. Grace Licata connected for three of her five three-pointers in the third to provide a spark. Licata was the only South scorer in double figures with 16.
South’s troubles scoring carried into the fourth quarter as they only had seven points.
“They are an extremely talented team,” said Dolan. “Their inside-outside game hurt. We just tried to get in the passing lane of 50 (Santita Ebangwese). I thought our defense was good, we just struggled.”
Tonawanda’s most successful season in its history ended with a thud in a 69-48 loss to Bishop Kearney. The Warriors were never in it, falling behind 7-0 and 20-9 after one.
It could have been much worse as Kearney was without its best player, Emmanuella Edoka. The Siena College signee sat at the end of bench all game, sidelined by illness.
Tonawanda would have had to shoot the lights out to have a chance, but they didn’t. They were 4 of 15 from the floor in the first quarter and 4 of 14 in the second. They had 14 turnovers at the break.
“The first half we missed some shots underneath and we had some unforced turnovers,” said coach Jay Hall. “I thought if it could have been a 10-point game at halftime that might have changed the complexion.”
Tonawanda had no answer in the middle for Kearney’s 6-1 forward Kharysma Bryant, who had a career high 26 points, including 12 in the third quarter.
She was one of many shooting stars for the Kings, winners of last year’s New York State title in Class C.
The Warriors’ Kaylyn Compeau scored 10 of her 17 points in the second half, but it hardly made a dent. Alanna Herne added 10 points as Tonawanda finishes 17-6.
Beating Romulus proved too tall an order for Pine Valley. The Lady Panthers had trouble matching up with the Warriors’ two 5-foot-11 front court players and lost, 65-45. The loss was the first in 10 starts for Pine Valley (18-3).
Pine Valley scored 16 points in the first quarter, but the offense struggled the rest of the way. Alex Bentham led the way with 19 points while Kayla Mansfield added 11.
“We didn’t box out at all,” said coach Tim Nobles. “They got second shots, weakside rebounds, I can see several of them. And that just made it that much easier for them to score from the outside.”
Pine Valley has made an impressive 13 trips to the Regionals. They ended the season at 18-3.