A new star is lighting up the basketball court at Lackawanna. The twist is, the player isn't under the tutelage of Bill Bilowus or Ed Lewis.
Girls coach Jim Tatko gets the honors, and Andrea Dalton is earning the accolades.
The 5-foot-8 senior was an explosive player last season in earning All-ECIC and honorable mention All-Western New York honors. This year, the team captain helped the Lady Steelers break Pioneer's 30-game winning streak in Division III play and gunned down Iroquois with eight three-pointers in a 74-44 win last Thursday.
Research over the weekend, with the help of the State Sportswriters Association, failed to uncover any New York girl who has connected on more three-pointers in one game.
"She hit a three-pointer in the first six seconds of overtime against Pioneer and that gave her confidence she carried right into the Iroquois game," said Tatko. "She had five three-pointers in the third quarter and I sat her down in the fourth. I've had my team embarrassed before, and I don't like doing that to other people."
Dalton, averaging around 20 points per game, scored 24 points in the contest as the Lady Steelers improved to 4-2.
Her prowess from the outside first came to light at a school pep rally in November of 1988.
"I had Dexter Golden for football, so I decided we should have a little contest," recalled Tatko. "Five shots from three-point range. Andrea made four and Dexter just had to walk away. He smiled at me and said, 'Coach, there's no way I'm going to make five out of five.' "
Golden, a third-team All-Western New York pick last season, was the catalyst as Lewis guided the Steelers to the state Class B semifinals in Glens Falls.
"I set the offense up to try to isolate Andrea," said Tatko. "But if teams try to box-and-one her, Tenika (eighth-grade point guard Tenika Swanson) will penetrate. They can't cover both."
Tatko is hoping another solid season by Dalton can land some college scholarship offers.
"I see her as the 'off' guard taking the shot or going to the bucket," he said.
"She's a good trap player on defense. She can play Division I in the right scheme."
Elsewhere in girls basketball, Hamburg upset Orchard Park, 51-50, last Thursday in an ECIC Division I game on Lynette Lange's free throw with five seconds left.
It was Hamburg's sixth win over a ranked team in the last three years.
The Bulldogs' record in that span is 57-12.
Returning All-Western New York guard Beth Guiliani, who is 5-7, set a school record with 39 points in No. 5 Niagara-Wheatfield's 102-24 win over Kenmore East Friday night.
Guiliani is shooting close to 70 percent from the field for the Falcons (10-2).
Frontier tops club hockey poll
Boosted by a 9-6 win Sunday over top-ranked Williamsville East, Depew moved up three places in this week's WNY Club Hockey Poll and allowed Frontier to bump the Flames from the No. 1 position.
The Wildcats (14-3-3) got two-goal games from Tony Fiorello, Phil Heerdt, Mike Dieboldt and Ken Filipski in their win over East.
The outputs offset a three-goal game by the Flames' John Braun.
Depew tied Kenmore East, 5-5, Friday as Jeremy Zakrzewski and Jeff Szarzanowicz registered a pair of goals apiece. Mike Aranyosi scored twice for the Bulldogs.
Williamsville East fell to fourth because of the loss to Depew and a 3-3 tie with Lockport, which rallied from a 3-1 deficit to become the new No. 2 team.
The Lions got goals from Matt Gardepe, Dan Jones and Mike Dziama plus 26 saves from goaltender Chris Szczepanski.
Frontier clinched the Southtowns Club League title Monday night with an 8-2 win over West Seneca East. The Falcons got three goals from Russ Filighera and two apiece from Joe Lewis and Brian Kromke.
Among this week's best games are a 9:30 matchup tonight between Depew and No. 6 Sweet Home at Clearfield Rink. At 5:30 Wednesday, Nichols has an Independent Schools Athletic Association game with Ridley (Ont.) at Dann Memorial Rink.
Cheektowaga entered this week's poll at No. 10, but faces a pair of tough tests. The Warriors play Williamsville East at 9:10 p.m. Wednesday at Audubon and Lockport at 9:30 p.m. Friday at Holiday Twin Rinks.
St. Francis remains the No. 5 team in the state in the latest State Sportswriters Association poll. The Red Raiders resume their Msgr. Martin Association schedule at 6 p.m. Saturday with a game against Canisius at Leisure Rinks.
Maryvale rolls to team record
The Maryvale boys bowling team set a school record last week with a 933 single-game pinfall in an 8-3 ECIC win over Orchard Park. The Flyers established the mark with games of 267 from John Nowatzki, 258 from Brendan Bishop, 209 from Chris Bandelien and 199 from Tim Bernhard.
Clarence needs a varsity girls soccer coach. Contact Greg Kaszubski, athletic director, at 759-8311, extension 208.