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Sacred Heart looms large; Banker leaves on top

The Sacred Heart and Cardinal O’Hara girls basketball teams may have split their regular season meetings, but in this finally tally both came out on top. The Sharks were voted the No. 1 large school while the Hawks took top honors among small schools in the final Buffalo News polls.

Sacred Heart, eventual playoff champions of the Monsignor Martin Association, got seven first place votes to outdistance runner-up and Section VI Class AA champion Jamestown, who received three. Lockport, which spent three weeks ranked in the top spot, finished third after being upset in the sectional semifinals by Niagara-Wheatfield.

Voting on the large school poll were: Joe/Karen Catalano (Lancaster/ECIC I), Rick Mihalik (Frontier, ECIC I), Frank Payne (Iroquois, ECIC II), Joe Dougherty (Nardin, Msgr. Martin), Jeff Martin (Kenmore West, Niagara Frontier League), Sister Maria Pares (Sacred Heart, Msgr. Martin), Fran Snyder (Holy Angels, Msgr. Martin), Paul Twarozek (official), Keith Junik (Msgr. Martin), Ken Zymroz (official).

The top five teams in the small schools won championships. O’Hara won the NYS Catholic B state championship. They garnered all 10 first place votes and held the No. 1 spot during all 10 weeks of voting.

No. 2 Randolph was the overall Class C champion, No. 3 Olean won Class B, co-No. 4 Frewsburg was tops in Class C-2 and co-No. 4 Wilson won Class B-2.

Small school poll voters were Joe Badaszewski (Immaculata assistant), Brian Baker (Wilson, Niagara-Orleans League), Meghan Himelein (Gowanda, CCAA I), Frank Martin (Allegany-Limestone, CCAA I), Jeff Collver (Frewsburg, CCAA II), Nate Cornell (Franklinville, CCAA III), Scott Neckers (Clymer, CCAA IV), Dan McDermott (Cardinal O’Hara, Msgr. Martin), Keith Falkowski (Canisius Cup/Burgard), Junik (St. Mary’s/Msgr. Martin).

Banker ends standout career

Jenepher Banker has confirmed she’s stepped down as coach at Grand Island.

“I’m done with basketball,” she said. “I’ve been coaching basketball since I graduated from college. It’s time for someone else, someone new to get a start with it. I want whoever comes in to care about the kids, the program and the future of the program.”

Banker went 246-98 in her 15-year career that also included the last five Section VI Class A titles, the last six Class A-1s and four NFL crowns. Banker will continue as a physical education teacher at GI, a post she has held the last 16 years.

Maycock, Rosten, Curry shine

• Randolph sophomore Mckenna Maycock scored 633 points this season bringing her career total to 1,669. She needs to score at least 429 points in each of the next two seasons to surpass the Western New York career scoring mark of 2,527.

The career scoring record at Maryvale is in serious jeopardy of being broken. Junior Ciara Rosten needs just 16 points next season to break the milestone of 1,134 held by Olivia Gmerek. Rosten averaged 19.9 this season and was among the Section VI leaders in rebounds averaging 18.0. She had two triple-doubles this season.

• Senior Jamie Curry of Wilson ends her career having won three Section VI titles in four appearances and four straight Niagara-Orleans League titles (54-4 record).