Weekly Feature



2018-02-08 / Sports

Lady Legends top undefeated Orchard Park in girls hoops

TAYLOR NIGRELLI
Sports Reporter

The Lancaster girls’ basketball team got its biggest win of the season Thursday, when they ended Orchard Park’s perfect season with a 52-47 victory.

The Lady Legends actually trailed 12-11 after the first quarter. But the defense had a huge second quarter, holding the Lady Quakers scoreless for the first five minutes. Sarah Wagner hit an open lay-up to open the scoring in the quarter. Later, Hanna Wozniak hit a three-pointer to make it 16-12. Molly Mahony hit one free throw to make it 17-12.

The Lady Legends led 26-19 at the half, and were up 38-28 in the third quarter. The team opened up a 13-point lead at one point before the Lady Quakers started to make a run. Orchard Park got within five points, but Lancaster would not get them any closer. The Lady Legends defense stepped up big.

“The key was just five girls doing their job,” Lancaster coach Jayson Jaskier said. “It was a team win, even for the girls who might not have seen the court tonight. It was their hard work in practice yesterday especially that prepared us for this rematch today. We just had, no matter who was out there, all five girls were doing their job. That’s what it takes.”

Mahony led the team with 17 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, made four steals and grabbed four assists.

“It feels amazing,” Mahony said. “Like I said to the team, we have to play strong all the way through. In the first quarter of the other game, we played our hearts out. Then we just fell apart in the second half. But I said we have to play strong all the way through.”

Wozniak had 15 points, Wagner had 14 and Michaeala Morgus had six points and 13 rebounds.

“It was definitely a team effort and I’m proud of every single person on the team, whether they were on the court or on the bench,” Wag- ner said. “Everyone was hyped up, everyone was cheering. I think that’s really what pushed us to get this win.”

The team got the win just two days after falling by 18 points to the same team Tuesday. The big difference was cleaning up sloppy play, and playing better on defense.

“Between the two games, we were able to clean up some things, especially defensively,” Jaskier said. “They have a phenomenal team, and they wouldn’t be in first place without it. We just had to clean up some of our mistakes. Our game plan was just to execute for all four quarters.”

The Lady Legends kept up their hot streak Friday with a 51-29 win over West Seneca West. Mahony had 18 points and 12 rebounds. Wozniak had eight points, Hannah Kirisits had two assists and two three-point shots. Madisyn Pepke had five points, four rebounds two assists and one steal.

“That was a tough game. We had three games in four days so we could tell everyone was tired and worn out,” Jaskier said. “Our whole team pulled together and everyone played. Everyone got in and contributed and we were fortunate enough to get the win. Our free throw percentage was 13-16, which was a season high at 81 percent.”

The good times came to an end Monday when the team travelled down to Jamestown and lost 44-35. The Lady Legends struggled shooting the ball, including going 4-13 from the line. Mahony and Kirisits each had nine points.

“We shot the ball poorly all over, not only from the free throw line but all over the court,” Jaskier said. “This was our second-lowest shooting percentage game of the season, the worst was St. Mary’s. Sometimes the ball just doesn’t fall for you and it’s tough to win that way.”

Lancaster will take on Clarence both Thursday and Monday, before hosting Williamsville North on senior night Tuesday. They’ll then have a non-league game against Panama to finish off the regular season.

“For now we want to keep pace with everyone,” Jaskier said. “Right now we’re currently in third place for sectionals, which guarantees us a home playoff game. If we win two of the last three games, that should give us a shot.”

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