Orchard Park's margin of victory over Niagara Falls was 22 points (63-41) on Tuesday night in their Section VI Class AA girls basketball quaarterfinal at Kenmore West.
What ended up as a decisive victory for the Quakers "didn't start that way," according to OP coach Gary Janas.
Niagara Falls led, 32-29, at halftime before the Quakers took over in the second half.
"We played very sloppy, very undisciplined basketball in the first half," Janas said. "But in the second half we made some adjustments and started playing with a little more energy."
Junior guard Lily Flannery led Orchard Park with 21 points, including four 3-pointers. Freshman center Madison Stevenson had 13 points and 11 rebounds and junior guard Rachel Major had 11 points.
"Major played probably her best basketball," Janas said.
"Flannery scoring was a little higher than her average," Janas said. "She's a very good guard. She drives, shoots from the outside. Today, she got some good open looks."
The Quakers will face Williamsville North in a semifinal game Friday at Kenmore West. The winner advances to the championship game next Wednesday at Buffalo State. Orchard Park defeated the Spartans twice during the ECIC I regular season.
"If we play like we did in the first half tonight, it's gonna be tough," Janas said.
In other Class AA quarterfinal games, No. 1 seed Frontier rolled past Lancaster, 63-31, while No. 5 seed Jamestown made the long trek to Lockport and knocked off the No. 4 Lions, 51-33, as Allison Stockwell led the victory with 13 points.
Frontier rolled over Jamestown by 28 and 16-point margins during the ECIC I league season, but the Red Raiders have won their last six games and looks much improved since last facing Frontier on Jan. 16.
"Coach (Tim) Anderson will have them ready," Frontier coach Rich Mihalak said.
The Falcons pretty much coasted to their victory over Lancaster behind a 21 points by Claire Krusza. Sophomore Alyssa Lorka contributed 10 points and seven assists.
"She's been pretty steady for us," Mihalik said. Krusza and Kennedy Izzo usually lead the Frontier scoring but "Lorka's our X factor," Mihalik said.
"Tonight we did a nice job of sharing the basketball and working for high percentage shots," Mihalik said of his Falcons, who have won 10 of their last 11 games with the lone loss a nonleaguer against St. Mary's of Lancaster.
Amherst-Lake Shore rematch set
Amherst, ranked No. 1 among large schools in the latest Buffalo News girls basketball poll, will face No.6 ranked Lake Shore in the playoffs for the third year in a row. Amherst was at its most efficient in a 78-25 victory over Maryvale in the sectional Class A-2 semifinal at Kenmore West.
That set up a championship final against Lake Shore on Sunday at Buffalo State.
Lake Shore, which has the No. 1 seed in the bracket regardless of what the poll says, triumphed, 53-25, over Iroquois at Kenmore West.
Amherst defeated Lake Shore in overtime, 70-63, on the way to the sectional championship a year ago. The Tigers also beat the Eagles in the semifinals two years ago en route to the title.
Sophomore Ella Wanzer had 16 points, three under her season average, in the Amherst victory. Morgan Halt had 15 points while Emma Stelley (12) and Emma Klein (11) also hit double-figures.
A-L moves on in boys play
Allegany-Limestone, the No. 1 in Class B-2 advanced to the Saturday’s championship game at Buffalo State by defeating Southwestern, 56-51, at Fredonia State. Casey Curran and Conner Golley with 15 points each led the Gators. Alex Card had 16 for the losing Trojans.
A-L will face the winner of tonight’s Burgard-Olmsted semifinal at Buffalo State in the B-2 championship game on Saturday at Buffalo State.
Jamond Jones’ 22 points led Middle Early College over Chautauqua Lake, 69-51, in a boys Class C-1 semifinal at Fredonia State.
Devonte Prince (13), Jakari Nettles (12) and Anthony Smith (11) also stood out for the Yale Cup League I champions in the victory.
MEC will face Tapestry Charter for the C-1 championship on Friday at Jamestown Community College.
Lekeuneu scores 45 in CCA girls win
Singo Lekeuneu scored a school record 45 points for Christian Central Academy in a 73-25 triumph over Archbishop Walsh in their Monsignor Martin Association B Division semifinal at Villa Maria. She also had 10 rebounds, 5 steals and 4 assists. Lekeuneu's total was high in the Association this season and eclipsed the CCA record of 43.