SINCLAIRVILLE - When the subject of Sherman girls basketball comes up amongst local followers, the conversation inevitably drifts to senior Elle Reed, who has been one of the most prolific scorers over the past few seasons in all of Section 6.
Well, on Tuesday evening another young Sherman player made it known she too deserves to be in the conversation.
Forming a dynamic tandem that gave opponent Falconer all it could handle, Reed and freshman Bridget Yaw netted a combined 41 points to lead Sherman past the Lady Golden Falcons, 54-34, in the opening round of the Cassadaga Valley Basketball Tournament.
Sherman’s Bridget Yaw shoots over Falconer’s Abby Courtney. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
The win puts the Lady Wildcats, who are now 1-0 on the season, into the tournament's final on Thursday at 8:30 p.m., where they will take on Maple Grove.
Sherman won the tournament last season.
Reed netted a game-high 23 points, hauled in nine rebounds and dished out three assists while Yaw tallied 18 ponts, grabbed six rebounds and made two steals.
Yaw, Sherman coach Mel Swanson noted, has been steadily improving since she began to see more playing time a season ago.
"She came on really strong at the end of last year," he said, "and she's becoming more confident. She's no longer an eighth grader who's nervous every game. She's a freshman now and has played enough games to have experience. She's going to be a key player in our bunch and had a real nice game tonight."
Save for the second quarter, when Falconer got into foul trouble and Danielle Reed sunk 3 of 4 free throws and Cadi Hannold hit a pair of buckets down low, it was Yaw and Reed who accounted for the bulk of the scoring in each frame.
Together the pair scored nine of 11 in the opening eight minutes of play, nine of 18 in the second quarter, all 13 in the third - Reed scored six and Yaw seven - and then 10 of 12 in the final period to keep ballooning their advantage.
"(Bridget) and Elle work very well together," Swanson said, "and (Bridget) can handle a little more on her own now. She can take people off the dribble and is shooting better from the perimeter."
While those two were keeping the points coming for the winners, it was a team-wide effort that helped keep Falconer from a comeback.
Alternating between the man-to-man and zone defenses, Sherman confused the young and inexperienced Lady Golden Falcons, which in turn slowed their offense and led to a great deal of low-percentage shots from beyond the arc.
"They needed to see when (Sherman) switched to man and when they switched to zone," coach Emily Scholeno said. "Sherman had great (communication) and a lot of times our girls couldn't read what they were doing."
Following an 11-0 run - Elle Reed scored the first five points, Yaw added a fast-break layup and then Danielle Reed delivered her three free throws - to balloon what had been a slim, 11-9 advantage at the end of the first quarter, Sherman led 29-16 at the break.
That lead continued to grow over the next two quarters, reaching 18 points, 42-24, at the end of the third and 20 by game's end.
Despite the outcome, however, Scholeno saw improvement in what was her squad's second game of the season.
"We played with a lot more heart tonight," she said. "Honestly, I'm happier leaving this game than I was last week (against Cassadaga Valley). They never gave up."
Kaylee Keith led in defeat with eight points while Alyssa Brooks worked hard on the boards on the way to securing 11 rebounds to go along with her five points.
Falconer, now 0-2, will be looking to get in the win column for the first time on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. when it squares off against tournament host Cassadaga Valley.
EReed 8 5 23, Yaw 7 4 18, Delcamp 1 0 2, Christmas 0 2 2, DReed 0 3 3, Rater 1 0 2, Hannold 2 0 4. Totals 19 14 23.
Brooks 1 3 5, Steele 2 0 6, Courtney 2 0 4, Keith 3 0 8, Anderson 1 0 2, Gunnell 0 3 3, McFall 1 0 2, Hines 0 1 1, Fellows 1 0 2. Totals 11 7 34.
3-point goals: EReed 2, Steele 2, Keith 2.
Sherman11 18 13 12 - 54
Falconer9 7 7 11 - 34