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Orchard Park to play in first hockey final, against Niagara Wheatfield

Orchard Park (10-7-3) will play for the Section VI boys hockey large school championship for the first time on Sunday. The Quakers gained a place in the title game with a 5-3 victory over five-time state champion Williamsville North in their semifinal at Harborcenter.

Kyle Flynn, Carson Senfield, Jack Kinsman, Joe Redlinski and Jake Echeverria scored single goals for the Quakers who will face Niagara Wheatfield in the championship game at 3:45 p.m. on Sunday at KeyBank Center.

OP led 2-1 after the opening period. Connor Schwartz had the North goal. The count went to 4-1 on goals by Kinsman and Redlinski in the second period. However, Sam Gattuso and Ryan Powers of the Spartans scored to narrow the deficit to 4-3 entering the final period.

Echeverria scored at 4:20 in the third to put the Quakers up by two goals. A.J. Ferenczy narrowed it to 5-4 when he scored with 1:03 left.

Ryan Albert made 23 saves for Orchard Park. Evan Wolfson had 29 saves for North.

Senior Austin Durandetto scored the tiebreaker in the second period and junior Ben Foster added power-play and short-handed, empty-net scores for Niagara Wheatfield Tuesday night in a 4-1 victory over Lancaster in their Section VI boys hockey large school semifinal at Harborcenter.

Ben Shapiro of Niagara Wheatfield and Ethan Jurkowski of the Legends exchanged goals in the opening period before Durandetto scored with assists from Anthony Delisanti and Tyler Belter at 2:44 of the second period.

Foster scored unassisted on the power play at 10:44 in the second then got his short-handed goal with 1:55 to play.

Peyton Siegmann had 34 saves in goal for Niagara Wheatfield.

Glover is Timon nemesis

Bishop Timon-St. Jude had better get used to seeing St. Joe’s guard Justin Glover. They may have to deal with him for three more seasons.

The Marauders’ freshman star scored 21 points Tuesday night in a 68-55 triumph over the visiting Tigers in their first round Manhattan Cup playoff game in the Monsignor Martin Athletic Association.

It was St. Joe’s third win over Timon this season, all since Feb. 13.

"Glover’s been our leading scorer in all three," St. Joe’s assistant coach Zach Michael pointed out.

Will Ostrowski had 15 points and Santino Martone 11 for the Marauders.

St. Joe’s will take on Park, the No. 1 ranked large school in Western New York, in one semifinal at 6 p.m. on Thursday at the Koessler Athletic Center.

The Canisius-St. Francis semifinal will follow.

Fredonia scores upset in girls hoops

Sometimes sectional playoff seedings are deceiving.

Tuesday night No. 14 Fredonia knocked No. 3 Springville out of the Section VI Class B-1 girls basketball playoffs, 55-39, in the prequarterfinal round.

Kaslin Beers was the defensive spark for the Hillbillies with seven steals, five assists and eight rebounds in addition to her 11 points. Grace Mroczka had 15 points and nine rebounds and Nagely Vazquez has nine rebounds to go with 10 points.

Fredonia coach Mark Putney didn’t seem surprised.

"Our league is one of the toughest in the state, and it really prepared us for this moment," Putney said.

Buffalo News girls basketball polls (Feb. 19)

Lancers top Frontier in battle of ranked teams

Carolina Zanghi, who had 10 points and seven rebounds, helped a fourth-quarter surge that carried St. Mary’s of Lancaster to a 61-51 nonleague girls basketball victory over Frontier. The Lancers, No. 4 in the WNY Large Schools Poll, outscored the Falcons, 18-9, in the final period. Zanghi had six of those points and her last with less than two minutes to go gave her an even 1,000 for her career. Lancers Shay Ciezski had 22 points and Myla Kline 18, all on 3-pointers. Claire Krusza had 22 points for Frontier, ranked No. 5 in the same poll.

Manager Ashley Buck plays and scores for West Seneca East

West Seneca East, who won only two games in the regular season, was eliminated from the Section VI girls basketball Class A-1 prequarterfinals by Hamburg, 61-27. Despite the loss, it was a night Ashley Buck of the losing team will never forget.
Buck, who is the team manager and is autistic, got her chance to play in a game for the first time. She scored six points, one of only five Trojans to scored in the loss. Anjali Silverheels led the winning Bulldogs with 11 points.

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