By Scott Kindberg
TONAWANDA - Jamestown coach Tim Anderson had a little chat with Chrisanna Green before the start of the second half of Friday's Section 6 Class AA semifinal basketball game.
Chrisanna Green of Jamestown takes off against Lockport during Friday night’s Section 6 Class AA?semifinal game. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J photo by Scott Kindberg
It wasn't a heart-to-heart. Heck, it didn't even last very long, but the message to the athletic forward was clear.
"I told her, 'You're the best player on the floor, by far. You need to go out and show it and be the leader,"' Anderson said.
Held to three points through two quarters, Green, along with a huge assist from Peyton Butts, accepted the challenge.
And then some.
Together, the juniors combined for 38 second-half points and led top-seeded Jamestown on a ferocious comeback, transforming a nine-point deficit at intermission into a decisive, 64-47 victory over No. 4 Lockport at Kenmore West High School.
The win vaults the Lady Red Raiders (18-2), the defending sectional champions, into the title game at 8 p.m., Wednesday at Buffalo State where they'll meet No. 3 Williamsville North. The Lady Spartans advanced by virtue of a 51-49 victory over No. 2 Niagara Falls in the other semifinal.
If Green and Butts play like they did after intermission last night, it will take an out-of-this-world effort to keep Jamestown from bringing home another sectional plaque. Green scored 24 second-half points, tracked down nearly every loose ball and dominated the glass. Butts, meanwhile, had 14 points in the final two periods and showed a near-capacity crowd why she can be one of the Southern Tier's best as well.
"I didn't yell and didn't scream,'' Anderson said of his halftime demeanor. "I just talked to the girls about the fact that we played probably our worst half of the year and we were down nine points.''
The second half, however, started like the first half ended for Jamestown. Trailing, 26-17, the Lady Red Raiders promptly turned the ball over on their first possession.
After that, though, it was a blur Jamestown steals, rebounds - on the offensive and defensive glass - layups and, on occasion, 3-pointers that ended in an 18-2 run during which Green and Butts combined for 16 points to take a 35-28 lead with 4:10 remaining in the period. Lockport, behind Sara Franco (23 points), closed the gap to two on two different occasions, but Butts scored eight straight points, including a 3-pointer at the buzzer to end the period.
See JHS, Page B4
Armed with a 46-36 lead, Jamestown was in control. The Lady Lions pulled to within 52-46 with 3:22 remaining, but Green hit a trey, made a steal she turned into a layup and drained another 3-pointer as the shot clock expired, extending the margin to 60-46 with just under two minutes remaining.
At the 51-second mark, Green, Butts and the rest of the starters were removed from the game and were greeted by a smiling Anderson.
"We woke up in the second half at the right time,'' Anderson said. "I couldn't be prouder. We played about as well defensively as we can play.''
Green finished with 27 points (24 in the second half), grabbed 10 rebounds and had six steals, while Butts scored a career-high 21 points and had three steals. Junior Anne Campion added 13 points and junior Dazjah Coleman grabbed six rebounds. Their efforts were in stark contrast to the first half when Lockport controlled the game and the scoreboard.
But the switch to man-to-man defense and the dominant play of Green and Butts after intermission proved to be too much for Lockport.
Now it's on to Buffalo State for the Lady Red Raiders, who will seek their second straight sectional crown on Wednesday against Williamsville North.
"We played two really close games with them (both wins),'' Anderson said. "They're very well coached, they have great size and they're very disciplined. They're going to give us a great challenge."
Dry 1 0 3, Wagner 5 3 13, Bechtold 1 0 3, Smith 0 0 0, Sammanio 0 0 0, DiMillo 1 0 2, Krchniak 0 0 0, Wiley 1 0 3, Franco 9 5 23, Totals 18 8 47.
Campion 4 5 13, Butts 9 0 21, Green 10 5 27, Cerosimo 0 0 0, Tucker 0 0 0, Mosley 1 0 2, Williams 0 0 0, Coleman 0 1 1, Totals 24 11 64.
3-point goals-Dry, Bechtold, Wiley, Butts 3, Green 2.
Lockport17 9 10 11 - 47
Jamestown11 6 29 18 - 64