Cheektowaga finished in third place in ECIC III behind East Aurora and Amherst and is seeded third in the Section VI A-2 playoffs, but the Warriors look like a challenger for the class championship in girls basketball. One reason is freshman phenom Ranya Rumph, who didn’t even try out for the modified team last year.
Rumph scored 30 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in leading a 66-50 victory over Iroquois Wednesday night at Kenmore West.
Rumph, who had 21 points and 22 rebounds in Cheektowaga’s 49-46 quarterfinal win over Olean, now has 263 rebounds for the season, and is averaging over 15 points a game.
“She’s not real tall, but she’s on a plyometrics program in our weight room to get stronger and she’s just a worker,” said Cheektowaga coach Justin Garbacz.
Iroquois led 27-26 at the half, but Cheektowaga’s defense finally wore down the Chiefs.
“We’ve been a second-half team all year,” Garbacz said. “We play hard defense and press if we have to. … We’re athletes and we run.”
Senior Taliyah Hopkins had 16 points and 10 assists for Cheektowaga, while Angel Parker, an eighth-grader, had seven assists and five steals.
Cheektowaga (14-6) will face No. 4 Lake Shore in the A-2 final on Sunday. The Eagles upset No. 1 seed Amherst, 38-35, in Wednesday’s other A-2 semifinal at Kenmore West.
Three players took care of all of the scoring for Lake Shore. Junior captain Melanie Linsmair had 22 points while Tashawni Cornfield had 12. Shayla Scanlan, a 6-foot sophomore center, accounted for the other four points and contributed 10 rebounds. Linsmair and Cornfield had five steals each of the 16 gained by Lake Shore.
Lake Shore opened 29-23 advantage in the third quarter. Holly Sullivan of Amherst banked in a three as the quarter expired to narrow the gap, but the Tigers never could catch up. Claire Wanzer had 13 points for Amherst.
Host Jamestown, the No. 2 seed in Class AA, moved on to a semifinal against Clarence by routing Frontier, 55-33, in a quarterfinal that was postponed from Tuesday night.
In Class B-2, No. 2 seed Cleveland Hill (18-1) advanced with a 73-48 romp over Southwestern at Sweet Home and will face No. 4 Fredonia, a 60-46 upset winner over top-seeded Wilson, also at Sweet Home.
Pesky guards Dakaylah Winfield and Aviance Clark led Cleve Hill. Winfield had 21 points, six assists and three steals while Clark had 17 points and 10 steals. Sydney Turley also had 21 points for the Golden Eagles.
No. 3 Salamanca pulled a mild surprise, edging No. 2 Allegany-Limestone, 34-32, in overtime in a C-1 semifinal at Jamestown Community College. Alyssa Coustenis led the winning Warriors with 13 points, seven rebounds and 10 steals. Also, C-1, top-seed Chautauqua Lake was too much for Barker, 51-16. The Thunderbirds have allowed only 32 points total in two playoff games so far.