The Niagara Frontier League enjoyed a big night in Section VI, Class A-1 girls semifinal basketball games on Saturday.
Grand Island knocked off No. 1 seed Williamsville East while Kenmore East eliminated Sweet Home.
Grand Island beat Williamsville East, 52-39, ending the season for the Class A-1 top seed and ECIC II champions. Allie Banker had 18 points for the Vikings (14-8) and Kristen Wegrzyn added 14 with six rebounds. GI outscored East, 13-4, in the third quarter.
The Vikings, whose focus was defense, held the Flames to 39 points. The team has received a lift from the recent return of forward Brooke DeMarco, who'd been out the whole campaign after breaking her leg in the last soccer game of the season.
Coach Jen Banker said her team has benefited from not only playing in the competitive Niagara Frontier League, but also from a non-league schedule that included Sacred Heart, Jamestown, Maine-Endwell and Liverpool.
"We don't worry too much about our record," said Banker. "The NFL is very strong competition. We battle each other every night. It really helps."
Kenmore East jumped out to a big lead and then had to hold on to beat Sweet Home, 66-56. Felicia Glogoza led the Bulldogs (15-7) with a career-high 21 points while Joelle Pollak added 18 with 10 boards.
Kenmore East built a 19-point lead in the second-half only to have Sweet Home climb within three with about 5:30 left. Jenaye Tyno (16 points) and Rachel Ward (12 points) led the Panthers' charge.
CLASS A-2: Shaquita Smith poured in 17 points and had 10 rebounds as Amherst advanced with a 54-43 win over Depew. The Tigers mustered just 15 points in the first half, then erupted for 39 in the second. Jequana Roberts had 15 points and Ashley Fields added 10 for Amherst.
"We told them to keep shooting, that the shots were going to fall eventually," said coach Joanna Fildes. "Our big thing was to shut off their two leading scorers [Alexis] Wayne and [Jordan] Schrimmel."
Schrimmel and Wayne combined for 23 points for the Wildcats (14-8).
Jenna Crabb had 15 points and Kiley Titus 13 for No. 1 Pioneer in a 61-49 win over Albion.
CLASS B-1: Olean used a superior inside game to gut out a 50-41 win over CCAA I foe Fredonia. Alicia Stebbins had 17 points, and eight offensive rebounds among her 13 boards. Rachel Kasperski added 11 points had 10 rebounds. The Huskies overcame a dismal 4-of-23 shooting display from the free-throw line and 27 turnovers to advance to the final against East Aurora.
"We persevered, hung in there, we didn't play real smart at times," said coach Don Scholla. "We didn't shoot free throws very well, but our inside people were a lot stronger. We defend pretty well. We don't give up too many easy shots. We have to rely on defense."
Mary Kate Bongiovanni led Fredonia (13-8) with 12 points.
East Aurora ended the season of ECIC IV champion Lackawanna, 27-26. The Steelers had the ball in the game's final 13 seconds, but weren't able to get a shot off. The Blue Devils (7-15) were Class A-2 finalists last year. "An ugly win in the playoffs is still a win, and you move on," said EA coach Chris Koselny. "We were able to box out and keep the ball alive."
Class B-2: City Honors scored seven points in the last minute to pull out a 35-32 win over Roy-Hart. Diamond Lewis hit a three-pointer and Sarah Hussein completed a three-point play to lead the comeback. Kat Curry finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Lindsay Stoddard connected for 23 points and seven steals as Allegany-Limestone pulled out a 53-47 win over Wilson. The Lakewomen started the third quarter on a 10-0 run, but the rest of the game belonged to the Gators. Jessica Curry led Wilson with 23 points.
CLASS C: Samantha Kopp had 38 points and 29 rebounds as No. 2 Franklinville beat Randolph, 52-30. The team split during the regular season. The Panthers outscored Randolph, 35-18, in the second half to pull out the win. "They had some quickness and athleticism that caused us problems," said Franklinville coach Nate Cornell. "In the second half we relaxed and got into our halfcourt offense after breaking their press."
Katie Auge had 22 points as No. 1 seed Salamanca move to 17-2 with a 69-31 win over Westfield.
Kelsey Nelson had 14 points and nine rebounds and Katie Cass added 12 points with 10 boards and five assists for No. 4 Frewsburg in a 54-40 win over Holland. Molly Winch led the Dutchwomen with 12 points.
Jessica Jamison had 20 points and five steals for Silver Creek in a 53-38 win over Cassadaga Valley.
CLASS D: Tara Bailey had 20 points, nine assists and six steals as No. 1 Clymer dropped North Collins, 85-14. Becca Skinner and Andrea Lictus had 16 points each for the undefeated Pirates (21-0).
Emily Trevelline had a free throw with 14 seconds left to provide the winning margin in Ripley's 30-27 win over Ellicottville in a quarterfinal game.
Rachel Ottaway had eight points to surpass 1,000 in her career as No. 2 Sherman drubbed West Valley, 81-14.
Jillian Brunswick had 24 points, including a big three-pointer with 1:35 left, as Pine Valley advanced with a 51-43 win over Maple Grove. Nikole Lindquist added 11 points and had seven steals for the Lady Panthers (16-5).