Weekly Feature



2016-12-22 / Sports

West girls hoops drops pair in league play

by JASON NADOLINSKI
Reporter


West Seneca West’s Paige Cocina, foreground, fights for possession of a rebound with Williamsville North’s Stephanie Sheppard, left, during the Lady Indians’ 55-38 loss Friday. 
Photo by Jake FrenchPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com West Seneca West’s Paige Cocina, foreground, fights for possession of a rebound with Williamsville North’s Stephanie Sheppard, left, during the Lady Indians’ 55-38 loss Friday. Photo by Jake FrenchPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com League victories proved hard to come by for West Seneca West’s girls basketball team last week, as the Lady Indians fell to both Lancaster and Williamsville North en route to dropping to 2-5 on the season.

West’s week opened Dec. 13 with a 56-28 setback to Lancaster. The Lady Indians kept things close in the first quarter, trailing just 10-6, but were unable to maintain their defensive effort the rest of the way as the Lady Legends gradually pulled away with solid quarter-long efforts that gave them a 23-point lead by the end of the third stanza.

“We just came out slow and they just played better than we did,” coach Lori Potter said. “They just seemed to turn it on offensively in the second quarter and took off from there.”

Mia McClain led the way for West with six points and five rebounds, while Ally Marshall added five points and six rebounds. Payton Bernardoni also scored five points, while Kourtney Urbanczyk contributed three points and six rebounds.

Mia McCarthy added two points and five rebounds for West, which struggled to keep Williamsville North off the offensive glass Friday in what would be a 55-38 victory for the Lady Spartans.

Potter conceded that the Lady Indians were “killed” on the boards, with West sometimes allowing North to get two, three or even four shots in a possession with its inability to snag a defensive rebound. Yet even with those extra chances, North had trouble pulling away from West for most of the game, leading just 11-8 after the first quarter before ending each of the next two frames with 10-point advantages.

Chloe Soloman paced West with nine points, while Mollie Vona added eight points and five rebounds. McCarthy finished with six points, five rebounds and three assists, while Urbanczyk, Marshall and Maddy Vanderlip each netted four points.

McClain pulled down eight rebounds for the Lady Indians, whose slow start against Sweet Home Monday allowed the Lady Panthers to ultimately persevere by a 56-44 margin.

The Lady Indians rebounded better against Sweet Home, but Sweet Home was able to knock down a plethora of long-range shots to keep West from consistently whittling away at the deficit. A tough night at the free-throw line — West finished 11-of-30 — didn’t do the Lady Indians any favors.

“If you take away the first quarter — and a bunch of our missed free throws — it’s a completely different game,” Potter said.

West, which trailed 16-6 after the first quarter and 39-30 heading into the final stanza, was guided by McCarthy’s 11 points, eight rebounds, six steals and three assists. Vona added 10 points and 13 rebounds, while Urbanczyk contributed eight points and six rebounds.

Abby Hoestermann chipped in with six points, while Paige Cocina added five points, 13 rebounds and three assists for the Lady Indians (2-5 overall), who will face Frontier this evening and then have some time to work on their game over the holiday break before returning to action against Maryvale on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017.

“We’re just going to be trying to emphasize defense in these next few days, because we’re giving up too many open looks,” Potter said. “We’re also going to work on rebounding well and not turning the ball over. We also need to finish our shots in the paint because we’re missing easy ones inside. We’re hustling, we’re scrappy and we’re not backing down to teams, but we’ve just got to do the little things better that are important to winning.”

email: jnadolinski@beenews.com

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