By Jay Young
TONAWANDA - Despite starting out with hot shooting from Abby Courtney and jumping out to an early lead in the Section 6 Class B-2 girls basketball semifinals at Kenmore West High School on Thursday night, the Falconer Lady Golden Falcons dropped a 34-27 decision to Akron to fall out of the postseason race.
Falconer’s Dannon Pischera, right, blocks out Akron’s Maggie Kowalik during Thursday’s Section 6 Class Class B-2 semifinal basketball game at Kenmore West High School. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J photo by Jay Young
No. 7 Falconer (10-11) was all over the No. 6 Tigers (11-9) from the get-go when Courtney pumped in a three to begin the night, and went on to bury two more with minutes still left to play in the opening quarter.
The Lady Golden Falcons ended the first period with a 13-4 advantage thanks to solid effort in the defensive end in addition to the accurate shooting.
In a drastic loss of momentum, Falconer only managed to put up 14 points in the remaining three quarters after nearly matching that number in the first eight minutes.
The drop in offense opened the door for the Tigers and Tobie Abrams, who nailed three big shots from beyond the arc to help Akron secure their second-half comeback.
Courtney's push in the first five minutes provided the majority of the scoring for both teams in the first half.
Katie Hines chipped in for Falconer with a pair of buckets on inside shots to give her team a nine-point margin heading into the second quarter.
Thanks to consistent defensive pursuit by Dannon Pischera and Emma Steele, the Tigers had a hard time finding any open shots.
Maggie Kowalik was the only Akron player to make buckets from the floor in the first two periods and she finished with seven points and five boards.
See FALCONER, Page B2
From Page B1
Baskets started to come easier for the Tigers following the halftime break as Ashley Mietz drained a trey to begin the period and shrink the Falconer lead to four,15-11.
Responding for the Lady Golden Falcons was Emma Steele on an shot from the paint, but that would be the only offense for Falconer for the entire quarter.
The Lady Falcons' cold streak following Mietz's early trey was a sign of things to come, as Falconer went on to score six points in both the third and fourth quarters while Akron ramped up its own offense.
Abrams' deep trey brought the Tigers to within two, 17-15, midway through the third and her second shot from long range gave Akron a 20-19 lead.
Julia Anderson was able to respond to the Akron push by draining a shot from the wing to get Falconer the lead back, but four consecutive points by Jenny Komosinski turned the momentum back in favor of the Tigers.
The Lady Golden Falcons were able to push themselves ahead one more time thanks to a pair of makes at the charity stripe by Pishcera, but a final trey from Abrams took the wind out of Falconer's sails for the final time.
Another four points from Gina Henley gave Akron a two-possession lead at 31-27 with one minute to play, and from that point on intentional fouls were Falconer's only course of action.
Abrams finished the night with 11 points and three treys, while Kowalik and Henley chipped in seven points each for Akron.
Courtney ended the contest with nine points, all in the first quarter, and Hines added six for Falconer.
Volk 0 0 0, Courtney 3 0 9, Fellows 0 0 0, Hines 3 0 6, Keith 0 0 0, Steele 2 0 4, Anderson 2 0 4, Carter 0 0 0, Pischera 0 2 2, Brooks 1 0 2, Roach 0 0 0. Totals 11 2 27.
Mietz 1 0 3, Regan 0 2 2, Jones 0 0 0, Henley 1 5 7, Lobur 0 0 0, Kowalik 3 1 7, Wagner 0 0 0, Staebell 0 0 0, Komosinski 2 0 4, Abrams 3 2 11. Totals 10 10 34.
3-point goals: Courtney 3, Mietz, Abrams 3.
Falconer 13 2 6 6-27
Akron 4 4 14 12-34