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Senior standouts lead Fredonia, Wilson to Class B titles

Fredonia and Wilson rode standout performances from their senior leaders to Class B girls basketball titles on Sunday.

Hannah Cybart poured in a game-high 28 points and grabbed 16 rebounds for the sixth-seeded Hillbillies in their 54-49 Class B-1 upset over No. 1 Depew. Rachel Senek and Kayla Neumann combined for 39 points as the 3-Lakewomen dominated Niagara-Orleans League rival 5-Medina, 60-33, in the Class B-2 nightcap at Buffalo State.

Familiar postseason foes Wilson (20-3) and Fredonia (18-6) will meet Wednesday in the overall Class B final back at Buff State at 4:30 p.m. for a spot in the Far West Regionals. The Hillbillies eliminated the Lakewomen in the B-2 semifinals the past two years.

"They're very well coached," Wilson coach Brian Baker said. "They have pretty much the same team back, so we're used to each other. But it couldn't be a better situation for us. We'll take a shot at them again."

Depew used its noticeable size advantage to open up a 10-0 lead that was cut to 12-6 after the first eight minutes.

"I felt like we had a lot of confidence coming in, so I was a little surprised that we started down so much." Fredonia coach Carol Zirkle said. "They're an experienced group, and we've been here so much and they've played so many games. There was no panic on the bench."

Cybart scored seven of her nine first-half points in the second quarter. Her three-pointer with 2:36 left gave Fredonia a 19-17 lead, its first of the game, but a 7-0 Depew run gave the Wildcats a 24-19 lead heading into the break.

A competitive second half that featured six ties and six lead changes was when Cybart hit her stride. The returning All-Western New York honorable mention selection scored 10 in the third quarter to keep Fredonia within 43-38 entering the final frame. She then scored seven of her nine fourth-quarter points in the last 1:30, including her third three-pointer of the game that made it 50-48 and gave the Hillbillies the lead for good.

"These girls wanted a blue patch so bad," said Zirkle, whose teams fell in the B-2 finals the past two seasons. "They're tired of red. I'm tired of red. She just took the game in her own hands at that point, and she went and did what she had to do."

Senior Brianna Dotterweich led Depew (17-6) with 15 points, while classmates Tess Borgorsz and Aviance Clark had 12 and nine, respectively. Junior Katie Price added nine points for Fredonia, which won its first sectional championship since 2004.

Wilson's Kayla Neumann shoots against Medina during first half action of the Section VI B2 final at the Buffalo State Sports Arena on Sunday. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News)

Meanwhile, Medina got out to leads of 7-3 and 9-8 in the first quarter, but never held another as a 16-0 Wilson run from the first to second quarter gave the Lakewomen a comfortable advantage that never got closer than 13 points the rest of the way.

"I think after the first quarter we had to really amp up our defense," Baker said. "We knew they were going to be prepared coming in. We played them twice, coach (Ken) Haak does a great job, and we were kind of coasting on defense."

The Mustangs ended Wilson's 62-game winning streak against N-O competition with a five-point win back in January, but Wilson got payback in February with a seven-point win to earn the season split at the time.

"I challenged them," Baker said. "Most of the year we've controlled what teams do on offense by our defense, and we were letting them control too much of what was going on. After that I think they responded."

Senek and Neumann made a living in the lane all game to help Wilson win its first sectional title since the 2013-14 season. Senek repeatedly drew contact in the paint on her way to a game-high 24 points (12-18 on free throws), as well as seven rebounds, six assists, six steals and the team's two blocks. Neumann was tough to keep off the boards with most of her 15 points and nine rebounds coming in close to the basket.

Senior Molly Gross led Medina (17-6) with 10 points, while sophomores Jene Brown and Maddie Williams each added nine.

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