By Jay Young
TONAWANDA - In a defensive battle, top-seeded Wilson (18-2) claimed the second Section 6 Class B-2 semifinal game of the night at Kenmore West High School on Thursday night with a 33-27 victory over No. 4 Southwestern (12-8) to move on to the sectional championship game.
Southwestern’s Andrea OBoyle, left, and Wilson’s Emily Kam battle for possession of a loose ball during Thursday’s Section 6 Class B-2 semifinal at Kenmore West High School. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J photo by Jay Young
The Lakewomen will now take on No. 4 Akron at 7 p.m., Sunday at Buffalo State.
While the game was a low-scoring affair, Wilson captain Emily Lasher still managed to break into double figures with 11 points, four of which came on decisive foul shots in the tight final quarter.
Alex Sullivan also found shooting success, as she has done all year, with a team best 16 points and three steals for the Lady Trojans.
"The game plan that we had, they have a really good player in Emily Lasher, and I had various people on her and we had great side rotation,'' Southwestern coach Anne Beck said. ''And so, for the most part, I mean she's going to score points, but I thought we did really good as a team rotating on defense.''
Moving into the postseason Beck's team has featured a defense-first mentality, and that focus was on display against Wilson. The Lakewomen have averaged fifty points per game in their last three contests, but were seriously limited by Southwestern.
Unfortunately defense is only one side of a winning equation, and the Lady Trojans were missing the other - scoring.
All four quarters saw Southwestern fail to break into double-digits, and while Sullivan was her usual self Emily Wuebbolt struggled in the paint. The senior captain was limited to four points, three blocks, and nine boards in the contest, but just two of those rebounds came on the offensive end.
It looked like the Lady Trojans' defense would cause trouble for Wilson early on, as Sally Rudny, who finished with seven rebounds, started out with a nice block.
See TROJANS, Page B2
From Page B1
Wuebbolt followed up Rudny's play with a block of her own that ignited cheers from the crowd.
Allie Bubar started the Lakewomen with a pair of inside jumpers, Wilson was up 5-4 in the early going after Southwestern's Kara Schutte responded with an inside shot of her own.
Rudny picked up another nice block in the opening stanza, while Sullivan chipped in with a baseline shot and a deep trey to give Southwestern its first lead of the night, 9-8.
A shot at the foul line by Rachel Senek brought the contest to a tie at 11 in the closing seconds of the first period.
"In the first half we really controlled the boards. The second quarter they didn't have any offensive rebounds which I thought was great," Beck said.
Following the break for halftime Southwestern continued to play well on the defensive end, but shots started to fall for Wilson with the first coming on a drive by Dana Smith.
That shot was added to by a bucket underneath from Kaylee Stoelting that stretched the Wilson lead to five at 18-13.
The Lady Trojans were able to mount an offensive push in the closing minutes of the third quarter with a drive by Sullivan and another from Wuebbolt that narrowed the margin to three points, 22-19, heading into the final quarter.
However the Lakewomen would go on to notch 11 points in the final eight minutes to just eight for Southwestern.
Sullivan accounted for every one of those eight points, doing everything she could to stave off elimination for her team.
Unfortunately when Southwestern was forced to foul in desperation they chose the wrong target, Lasher, who notched four points at the line in the final period to seal the contest.
"I'm happy for the seniors, they worked hard and they gave everything they had so I'm going to miss those guys,'' Beck said. ''We had our ups and downs, but I felt that we were coming together as a group.''
Burgeson 0 0 0, Pannes 0 0 0, Wuebbolt 2 0 4, ASullivan 6 3 16, Rauh 0 0 0, Fedrick 0 0 0, OBoyle 0 0 0, Schutte 2 0 4, Cooper 0 0 0, MSullivan 0 0 0, Johnson 0 0 0, Rudny 0 3 3. Totals 10 6 27.
Kam 0 0 0, Bubar 3 2 8, Walck 0 0 0, Stoelting 4 0 8, Derole 0 0 0, Herman 0 0 0, DiLaurua 0 1 1, Smith 2 0 4, Senek 1 1 3, Lasher 3 5 11. Totals 13 9 33.
3-point goals: ASullivan.
Southwestern 4 7 8 8 -27
Wilson 5 6 11 11-33