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High School Extra: Three teams try girls hoops three-peats

They say that in basketball it's difficult to defeat an opponent a third time in one season.

Three Section VI girls basketball teams will learn if this is true in today's three overall class championship games at the Buffalo State Sports Arena.

Orchard Park in Class AA, Williamsville South in Class A and Southwestern in Class B will be trying to pull off a three-peat and advance to the Far West Regionals against Section V champions from the Rochester area.

Southwestern will meet Fredonia at 4:30 p.m. Williamsville South will take on defending Class A champion Amherst at 6 p.m. and Orchard Park will meet Frontier at 7:30 p.m.

Amherst defeated Williamsville South, 63-47, for the overall Class A title last year. All-Western New York selection Claire Wanzer is gone from that Amherst team, but Emma Klein, Emma Stelley, Leah Shutts and Ella Wanzer, Claire's little sister, who played as an eighth-grader are back. Ella Wanzer and Klein, another freshman, are leading this year's team in scoring at 13 ppg.

South's key returnee is 6-foot-5 Amari DeBerry, who is averaging 17.8 ppg. Other returnees are seniors Lauren Lassiter (11.4) and Naomi DeBerry., Sophomore Hannah Dolan (11.3) has emerged as one the Billies' scoring leaders.

South, which is undefeated against Section VI public schools teams, defeated Amherst, 63-51 and 63-40 during the ECIC II season.

Frontier pulled the biggest upset of the Class AA tournament by knocking out No. 2 seed Lancaster. Now the Falcons go up against No. 1 Orchard Park. The Quakers defeated Frontier twice in the ECIC I season, 52-48 and 64-29. OP's only loss in the regular season was at Lancaster.
Forward Sam Fischer (17.1) and guard Danielle Hore (13.9) lead OP. Frontier lost to Clarence by three points in last year's Class AA final. Back from that team are junior forward Kennedy Izzo (14.5) and sophomore guard Claire Kruszka (15.1).

Fredonia won the Class B championship by defeating Wilson in the crossover final. The Hillbillies draw a tough assignment in the Southwestern Trojans, who lost only twice all season, to Chautauqua Lake and Warren (Pa.). Junior Erin Radack (15.4) and senior Alanna Dibble (14.6) lead Southwestern.

Fredonia might have been overlooked after an 0-4 start to the season, but one loss was to Southwestern (59-36) and the others to strong Lake Shore, Allegany-Limestone and Franklinville teams. Southwestern defeated Fredonia, 55-42, in their return game.

Hillbillies regulars back from last year's state semifinalists are Katie Price (16.3), Kazlin Beers and Hanna Gullo.

Dunkirk girls were champions in 1983

No. The Section VI did not vacate Dunkirk's 1982-83 Class B girls basketball championship. The Marauders, indeed, were class champions that season. Information in Monday's Buffalo News that Dunkirk's loss to Fredonia in the girls Class B-1 championship was the first time the Marauders had played in a sectional final.

The 1983 Marauders won the sectional and regional Class B championships before losing to Nottingham of Syracuse in the state semifinals.

Also, the 1991 Dunkirk team was the Class B-2 sectional champion.


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