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Early Lead Is Enough As Ellicottville Holds On

Ellicottville’s Courtney Marsh passes to a teammate during Wednesday’s Section VI Class C semifinal girls basketball game against Holland at Jamestown Community College’s Physical Education Complex. P-J photo by Matt Spielman

Ande Northrup and Dalayla Alexander both hit big shots during the first half Wednesday evening at Jamestown Community College.

No. 4 Ellicottville needed every one of them down the stretch.

The Eagles led 28-10 at halftime, but nearly gave that entire lead away before holding on for a 42-39 victory over No. 1 Holland in the first Section VI Class C girls basketball semifinal at the Physical Education Complex.

“This is our third year in a row here,” Ellicottville head coach Tracy Rozler said postgame, “so the third time was the charm.”

Alexander had a team-high 15 points and Northrup added 13 for Ellicottville, which will take on No. 3 Frewsburg in Saturday’s 2 p.m. final back at JCC. The Bears beat No. 2 Randolph 52-37 in Wednesday’s second semifinal.

Ellicottville’s Dalayla Alexander goes in for a layup during Wednesday’s Section VI Class C semifinal girls basketball game against Holland at Jamestown Community College’s Physical Education Complex. P-J photo by Matt Spielman

“We’re definitely going to be the underdog, however I have a scrappy, strong, quick team,” Rozler said. “We’re going to go out and give it our best.”

Northrup, a sophomore, hit a trio of 3-pointers during a 13-5 first quarter and Alexander, a senior, hit three of her own during the second quarter as the Eagles led the Lady Dutchmen by 18 at halftime.

But Holland, led by 6-foot senior Julia Dietz, began to chip away after the break.

Senior Julia Galley hit a 3-pointer midway through the third quarter before Dietz went on a personal 8-0 run as Holland made it a 34-25 game with 58.5 seconds remaining in the period.

“Obviously we are challenged with height so we have to use our quickness and move the ball up the court,” Rozler said. “We have a couple of girls who box out really well, but they just can’t reach the ball.”

Fortunately for Ellicottville, junior Natalee Leiper scored on the Eagles’ final possession of the quarter to make it an 11-point game heading into the final eight minutes.

Then, Galley hit another 3-pointer and Lady Dutchmen sophomore Michaela Wiskup scored on back-to-back trips to make it a four-point game with 4:38 remaining.

“We played a really good first half,” Rozler said. ” … We went into the locker room and said ‘0-0, we have to start over,’ and (Holland) started pulling some shots out that they weren’t getting in the first half.”

Ellicottville still hadn’t scored in the fourth quarter when Dietz made it a two-point game with 2:50 left, but Northrup answered with a banked 3-pointer on the Eagles’ next trip down the floor and created a five-point cushion.

“Ande always pulls something out at the right time every single game,” Rozler said. “I don’t know how, but she comes through and it kind of brings us back up, and we go from there.”

Galley hit a late 3-pointer for Holland to make it a two-point game, but Alexander came up with a huge steal down the stretch and Northrup converted a free throw to make it 40-37.

Dietz scored with 9 seconds remaining to make it 40-39, but Alexander calmly sank a pair of free throws with 3.7 seconds left and the Lady Dutchmen missed a desperation 3-point attempt at the buzzer.

“Dalayla works her butt of day in and day out,” Rozler said. “I’m so proud of her and I’m so happy we won this game so she can go on to another game.”

NOTES: Senior Keelin Finn had eight rebounds and four steals; Leiper had seven rebounds and four assists; junior Courtney Marsh had seven rebounds; and Alexander had nine steals for Ellicottville, which shot 14 of 60 from the field, including 7 of 22 from 3-point range, and turned the ball over 13 times. … Dietz had 20 points and Galley had 10 for Holland, which shot 15 of 56 from the field, including 3 of 16 from 3-point range, and turned the ball over 18 times.

ELLICOTTVILLE (42)

Alexander 5 2 15, John 0 0 0, KFinn 3 0 6, Northrup 4 1 13, Leiper 2 0 4, Marsh 0 4 4. Totals 14 7 42.

HOLLAND (39)

Teijeira 0 0 0, Galley 3 1 10, Wiskup 3 1 7, Bernal 0 0 0, JeDietz 1 0 2, Hymers 0 0 0, JuDietz 9 2 20. Totals 16 4 39.

3-point goals–Alexander 3, Northrup 4, Galley 3.

Ellicottville 13 15 8 6 — 42

Holland 5 5 15 14 — 39

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