Orchard Park Shows Off Well-Balanced Attack In Win Over Raiders
BUFFALO — With many teams so evenly matched, nearly every Section VI Class AA playoff contest in the past week has been a toss-up.
No. 9 Williamsville North beat No. 8 Niagara Falls in the prequarterfinals before No. 7 Frontier beat No. 2 Lancaster, No. 6 Clarence beat No. 3 Lockport and No. 5 Jamestown beat No. 4 Niagara-Wheatfield in the quarterfinals.
The only team to survive the upset bug has been No. 1 Orchard Park.
The top-seeded Quakers showed off their well-balanced attack Saturday night with a 57-30 semifinal victory over the fifth-seeded Red Raiders at Kenmore West High School.
Orchard Park will now take on the seventh-seeded Falcons in Wednesday’s final at Buffalo State College after the Falcons’ upset of the sixth-seeded Red Devils in Saturday’s first semifinal.
As they have so often this year, the Quakers used their duo of guard Danielle Hore and center Sam Fischer to put away Jamestown.
“They have the best inside-out combo that’s in our league. Everybody else has strengths in one or two areas, but they can really control the game,” Jamestown coach Tim Anderson said. “Danielle Hore is very good with the ball and in complete control the whole game. Fischer just killed us down low. We doubled down on her but she is so big and strong down there, she finishes every opportunity she has. They are a tough team.”
Hore finished with 17 points, six assists, five rebounds and four steals while Fischer led the Erie County Interscholastic Conference Division 1 champions with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
“Fischer is not going to wow you, she’s just going to be physical and go to the glass. If we were able to box her out and get out in transition a little bit, the game would’ve went a little bit differently early,” Anderson said. “Since we couldn’t get stops and they controlled the paint we just never got our mojo going early in the game.”
Jamestown, which struggled to the tune of an 11-for-49 night from the field, including 3 of 16 from 3-point range, was led by senior Katelyn Bennett’s 8 points. Junior Macey Lundmark grabbed eight rebounds while senior Taylor Evan had three steals.
“We didn’t shoot it too well tonight and when we got opportunities at the foul line … we didn’t knock down shots,” Anderson said.
Orchard Park scored on its first five possessions and led 11-5 early before a crazy sequence at the end of the quarter gave the Quakers a 10-point lead. After a pair of missed 3-point attempts, Emily Henrich scored on a putback and was fouled with less than 10 seconds remaining. Henrich then missed her free throw, but ended up getting her own rebound and scoring again with a foul as the clock expired. Henrich missed the free throw again, but the damage had already been done with a four-point swing to end the period.
After junior Olivia Gates scored on the Red Raiders’ first possession of the second quarter, Orchard Park went on an 8-0 run that didn’t end until Allie Stockwell’s bucket with 3:48 remaining. The Quakers eventually scored on their final two possessions of the period and led 33-17 at halftime.
“It kind of depends on the matchup,” Anderson said. “We played them to a five-point game, but they kind of showed themselves the last two games against us.”
Another dry spell hit in the third quarter as Jamestown scored just two points in the opening 4:20 of the second half and Orchard Park ran away with the game to set up their championship date with Frontier.
“So many seniors have shown so much growth in the past couple of years. Obviously it’s disappointing, but we still have a bright future and a lot of leadership that’s coming back,” Anderson said.
NOTES: Jamestown was 5 of 15 from the free throw line and turned the ball over 14 times. … The Quakers beat the Falcons twice during the regular season, 52-48 on Dec. 21 and 64-29 on Feb. 5.
NO. 5 JAMESTOWN (30)
Gates 1 0 2, Lundmark 0 0 0, Stockwell 3 0 6, Starkweather 0 3 3, Holdridge 0 0 0, Frederick 0 0 0, Bennett 3 0 8, Tracy 0 0 0, Calamunci 0 0 0, Brightman 2 1 6, Evan 2 1 5, Rodriguez 0 0 0, Saunders 0 0 0. Totals 11 5 30.
NO. 1 ORCHARD PARK (57)
Flannery 1 0 2, Hore 6 3 17, Cullen 0 0 0, Miller 1 0 2, Fischer 8 3 19, Major 0 0 0, Erie 1 0 2, Harrigan 0 0 0, Swiatek 0 0 0, O’Connor 0 0 0, Henrich 2 0 4, Stevenson 1 2 4, Probst 3 1 7, Collins 0 0 0, Giese 0 0 0. Totals 23 9 57.