It wasn't your usual quarterfinal game between an No. 1 and No. 8 seed.
Jamestown girls basketball coach Mark Nugent knew that on Tuesday night when his top-seeded Lady Red Raiders, with a 15-3 record, took on the eighth-seeded Orchard Park Lady Quakers, who were 9-10, at the McElrath Gymnasium in a Section 6 Class AA quarterfinal game.
Jamestown won easily, 75-54, but when asked if he was glad to have that game out of the way, Nugent answered, ''No doubt about it because they've been playing well.''
Jamestown’s Chrisanna Green tries to get off a shot despite some tough defense from Orchard Park’s Maria Modkins during Tuesday night’s Section 6 Class AA quarterfinal game at the McElrath Gymnasium. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J photo by Jim Riggs
Despite their sub-.500 record, the Lady Quakers had won four or their last five games.
The first time the teams met at JHS in December, the Lady Red Raiders rolled to a 73-55 win. However, when they played at Orchard Park in January, Jamestown won again, but only by a 70-66 margin.
''It's always hard to beat a team three times,'' said Nugent.
It was Jamestown's fifth win in a row, but the Lady Red Raiders hadn't played since Feb. 16, a 72-60 win over Holy Angels. However, the 10 days between games didn't concern Nugent.
''We've been working real hard at practice and they don't know anything else but working hard,'' he said. ''We have had some great practices the last couple of days and I'm really proud of the effort they gave tonight.''
That effort moves Jamestown to the semifinals on Friday at 8 p.m. at Kenmore West against Williamsville North, which defeated Niagara Falls, 52-51. The semifinals were originally scheduled for Sweet Home, but had to be moved because that gym is unavailable.
On of Jamestown's three losses this season was to Williamsville North.
In the early minutes, Orchard Park was hanging on against the Lady Red Raiders, who were applying a stifling press. The Lady Quakers were breaking it with long passes and with four minutes left in the first quarter Jamestown held a slim 10-8 lead.
Then the Lady Red Raiders ran off 10 straight points, started with a 3-pointer by Chrisanna Green followed by a three-point play by Rosa Velazquez, to take a 20-8 lead. That margin was cut to 23-12 by the end of the first quarter.
Orchard Park pulled within nine early in the second quarter, but then the Jamestown press became too much.
The Lady Red Raiders rattled off 15 straight points, with Velazquez picking up seven of them, to open up a 44-19 lead. The Lady Quakers scored the last six points of the half, four from the foul line, to trail at halftime, 44-25.
In the third quarter, Orchard Park kept chipping away at their deficit and trailed by only 11 with two minutes left.
''In the third quarter we decided to run a little half-court trap and they've got good shooters and they knocked them down,'' Nugent said. ''Polancarz and Swiatek, they were given an open shot and they're going to make them. Then we went back our press.''
Going back to the press resulted in Jamestown ending the quarter with 7-1 run with all the points by Green and Tapia for a 57-40 advantage.
Then the Lady Red Raiders applied the knockout punch when it opened the fourth quarter with eight straight points on a layup by Anne Campion and back-to-back 3-pointers by Tapia. That gave the Lady Red Raiders a 65-40 lead and it was all downhill from there.
''It just goes back to the kids' mentality,'' Nugent said about the quick start to the fourth quarter, ''They just know how to win and it's fun to coach a group of kids like this.''
Tapia led the Lady Red Raiders with 19 points while Campion had 15 and Velazquez and Olivia Nugent had 10 each.
Orchard Park's leader was Poloncarz with 21 points and Swiatek had 16.
ORCHARD PARK (59)
Dragonette 0 0 0, Modkins 2 0 4, McKendry 0 0 0, Johnson 1 3 5, Poloncarz 7 3 21, Swiatek 5 4 16, Michael 1 4 6, Huebert 0 0 0, Probst 3 1 7, Shaffner 0 0 0, Totals 18 15 59.
Pollino 0 0 0, Campion 6 1 15, Butts 0 1 1, Nugent 4 0 10, Green 4 1 9, Davis 1 0 2, Pannes 0 0 0, Velazquez 4 1 10, Williams 0 1 1, Tapia 8 0 19, Coleman 3 2 8, Tucker 0 0 0, Totals 30 7 75.
3-point goals: Poloncarz 4, Swiatek 4, Campion 2, Nugent 2, Velazquez, Tapia 3.
Orchard Park12 13 15 19 - 59
Jamestown23 21 13 18 - 75