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Banker on point directing GI triumph; Hamburg, Pioneer win; Nichols takes CISAA title

Kallie Banker, last year's Western New York Player of the Year, was on her game Wednesday night for Grand Island.

The senior star scored 18 points and had eight assists and eight steals to lead the top-seeded Vikings to a 47-35 semifinal victory over Iroquois in the Section VI Class A-1 girls basketball playoffs at Clarence.

Cassie Oursler was just as effective in the Grand Island victory, scoring 16 and grabbing 15 rebounds.

Grand Island will face No. 2 seed Hamburg in the championship game at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Niagara County Community College in Sanborn.

Alexis Smith led four Hamburg double-figure scorers with 14 points as the No. 2-seeded Bulldogs defeated Hutch-Tech, 63-38.

CLASS A-2: Top-seed Pioneer avoided an upset, barely holding off Albion, 41-38, at Kenmore West to reach the championship game. The Panthers led, 28-14, at the half, but were outscored, 24-13, in the second half by the Purple Eagles. Mikaela Connelly led Pioneer with 11 points. Brittany Bennett-Allis had 14 for Albion.

Emily and Erin Nason had 12 points each to lead East Aurora over Lew-Port, 48-39.

CLASS B-1: Top-seeded Olean struggled to an 8-4 first-quarter lead, then took off with a 23-point second period and went on to a 61-42 triumph over Dunkirk in a semifinal at Sweet Home.

Emily Bantelman had 14 points to lead the Huskies.

Olivia Emerling had 14 points, 12 rebounds and four steals for Springville, which advanced with a 35-24 win over Medina in the other semi.

CLASS B-2: A dominating performance by Jennie Thies led No. 1 seed Southwestern over Allegany-Limestone, 54-28, in one semifinal at Pioneer Central. Thies had 26 points, 15 rebounds and six assists for the Trojans.

Wilson, the No. 2 seed, needed a fourth-quarter rally to dispose of fellow Niagara-Orleans League member, Roy-Hart, 38-32. The Lakewomen trailed the Rams, 30-24, going into the final quarter but held Roy-Hart to just two points in the final frame.

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Boys basketball

OTC Middle College, the No. 1 seed, got a 20-rebound performance from Brian Brown, who also had 19 points, and rolled past Cassadaga Valley, 81-47, at Jamestown Community College to reach the Class C-1 Section VI championship game. In the other semifinal, Jordan Farrant made a pair of free throws with 7 seconds left, capping a 25-point night to give Holland a 55-53 victory over Oracle Charter. Oracle trailed by 10 (46-36) entering the fourth quarter but fought back, tying the game on a three-point basket by Jamarr Cunningham with 23 seconds left.

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Girls hockey

Kendall Appelbaum scored twice, Rebecca Gicewicz had a goal and an assist and Olivia Zafuto had three assists to lead Nichols over Bishop Strachan of Toronto, 5-3, to win the CISAA championship.

Courtney Wesolowski made 14 saves and Julia Duquette scored what proved to be the winning goal in the first period as Monsignor Martin advanced to the title game of the WNY Federation with a 4-1 victory over Kenmore at Northtowns. West Seneca also advanced, beating Orchard Park, 2-1.