Falls wins in two OTs
Niagara Falls, looking for its first Niagara Frontier League girls basketball title since 1991, cleared a major hurdle Tuesday before its showdown with Lockport (11-1) on Friday. The Wolverines (11-0 in league) needed to survive two overtimes without leading scorer Victoria Pryor to win 64-58 at Kenmore West (8-3). Niagara Falls seemed on its way to a victory in regulation before Pryor fouled out. The Blue Devils rallied and nearly won it on a wild shot at the end of the first overtime. Then Melissa Fisher of Kenmore West threw up a shot that bounced off the back rim at end of the first overtime.
Bianca Brown hit a three to give the Wolverines the lead at the start of the second extra session and they led the rest of the way.
“Kenmore West still had a chance to win the NFL so we knew it would be a tough game, they always are against them,: said Niagara Falls coach Mike Esposito.
Niagara Falls got a lift from Crystal Smith, the first player off the bench, who played the lsat four minutes of regulation and both overtimes in Pryor’s absence. Her defensive assignment was Kenmore West’s Fisher, who was held to eight points. Katie Proy had 21 points for the Blue Devils.
Barker clinches tie
Barker with the smallest enrollment in the Niagara-Orleans League has become a sports powerhouse. On top of recent success in cross country, track and field, golf and their traditionally strong field hockey teams, the Raiders have added at least a share of their first N-O boys basketball title since rejoining the league in 1980. Barker’s last basketball championship was in a Section V league in 1978.
Coach Dave Carson’s team (11-0 league record) clinched at least a tie for the championship Tuesday night, rallying in the second half for a tense 42-39 victory over Medina (8-3). The Raiders trailed at the half, but forged a tie at 29-all entering the fourth quarter and ground out the victory.
“It became a possession game, back and forth. Every time down the floor it was suspenseful,” Carson said.
Jacob Haight led Barker with 19 points. Freshman Danny Brown had 25 for Medina.
Mount St. Mary surprises
After their four-bowler lineup shot 513 — a 128 average per bowler — in the first game of the Monsignor Martin Association tournament on Monday at AMF Thruway Lanes, Mount St. Mary did not look like a threat to win the championship. Also, the Thunder had finished fourth in the regular-season.
Then the girls from the Mount went on a roll. They improved by 180 pins, shooting a 693 in Game Two to take the lead from Mount Mercy and finished with a 638 for an overall 1,844. That was 124 pins better than second place Mount Mercy. Regular season champion Immaculata was a disappointing third, 144 pins behind the leaders. Lexi Greenauer shot 205 and Caitlin Orgek 173 for Mount St. Mary in their big second game.
Individual honors went to Taylor Reese of Cardinal O’Hara, who had a 607 series and 214 high single.
Pioneer clinches mat title