Hamburg narrowly defeated Amherst for the second time this season, 55-52.
In the previous matchup, the Bulldogs beat the Tigers by only two points.
Two of the top players in ECIC II, Clara Strack for Hamburg and Ella Wanzer for Amherst, went toe-to-toe as the teams try to overtake one another in the division.
Hamburg, now 8-1 in league, sits comfortably atop Amherst at 7-4. They are in second and third place in the division.
In Amherst’s gym, the Bulldogs got out to a hot start with a 16-5 lead after one. Maddy Harrison had eight points and Alayna Godios had five. Harrison and Strack were able to dominate the offensive glass.
It seemed like it would be much of the same in the second before a 7-2 run to end the half kept Amherst in striking distance as they trailed 31-20.
Wanzer was held to two points before she added five in the final 1:22 of the half.
Out of the half, Amherst was refocused with a 6-0 run to open the third. The game got as close as one point, 37-36, but Hamburg would end the third on a 7-0 run, punctuated by a three from Hannah Kruszka.
Still, Amherst wouldn’t go down until the final buzzer.
Strack led the way for Hamburg, scoring the first eight points of the period. She finished with a game-high 20 points.
Wanzer and Amherst had the chance to tie at the buzzer down three. Wanzer was fouled on a three-point attempt as the buzzer sounded and went to the line for three free throws.
She missed the first, ending the game.
Smith finishes with 38
Emerson girls basketball team defeated Olmsted, 64-53.
It marked the first time Emerson has beaten Olmsted in three years.
Leading the way was junior guard Jayda Smith. She finished with 38 points and five three-pointers, four of which came in the third quarter.
Emerson outscored Olmsted, 25-12, during the third.
Helping her along was sophomore Courtnae Lamont with 10 points and 12 rebounds for her first career double-double.
Kaleah Phillips led Olmsted with 20 points and six made three-pointers.
Call-up leads Warriors
Malachi Parker, a junior varsity call-up for Cheektowaga, led the team in scoring during their 57-54 win over Maryvale. It was his first game.
Parker finished with 15 points off five made threes.
Jesse Hawkins and Kydale Staten each had 11 for Cheektowaga.
Parker did not get the game-high, with Maryvale’s Andrew Dockery finishing with 17.
Cheektowaga is now 10-8 and 8-4 in ECIC III.
Prep Talk AOW
Lancaster wrestler Ryan Stencel and Williamsville East hockey player Mia Wendell have been named the boys and girls prep talk athletes of the week, sponsored by Sgroi Financial, in voting done by visitors to BuffaloNews.com.
Stencel won his fourth straight Section VI Class AA title at 182 pounds with three pinfall victories and became Legends’ all-time wins leader with 194 heading into the state qualifier meet, where he is a two-time defending champion. He received 95% of the vote.
Wendell stopped 35 of 37 shots she faced during Williamsville’s victories in the Section VI final and NYSPHSAA semifinal. She went 6-1 with three shutouts, .961 save percentage and 0.71 goals-against average during the playoff run. She received 51% of the vote.
Voting is conducted on BuffaloNews.com, beginning each Monday. The voting concludes Thursdays at noon. To nominate an athlete for consideration, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Three WNY athletes signed their letters of intent to continue their athletic careers on Thursday.
St. Mary’s softball player Hannah Kwasniewski will join the Niagara Purple Eagles in the fall. As a junior she hit for a .362 average across 17 games played.
Lancaster football player Ethan Jurkowski will play at Division II Edinboro University in Pennsylvania. Jurkowski played both wide receiver and defensive back for the Legends. He finished his senior year with 29 receptions for 358 yards and five touchdowns along with 22 tackles and two interceptions.
Christian Central Academy soccer player Lauren Zwolenkiewicz will play at D’Youville. She was named a first-team All-Catholic selection this past season.