Tonawanda basketball teams fall in finals of holiday tourneys
The Warriors girls basketball team gave it all they had, but in the end time ran out as Amherst, for a second year in a row, beat them to take the championship of the Tonawanda Holiday Tournament by a 40-37 final.
The girls squad loss came roughly one hour after the varsity boys fell to the host Indians, 37-35, in the title game of the West Seneca West Tournament.
The Tonawanda girls, who were playing its second game without starting point guard Alanna Herne, were led by sophomore Haley Snyder’s 15 points.
Senior Joanna McCarthy (six points/10 rebounds) fell just short of her seventh consecutive double-double of the season.
Lady Warriors’ coach Jay Hall said his team was understandably dejected after the loss. While Amherst certainly deserved the win, Hall said his team had its chances.
“We battled with them but everybody was just cold shooting,” a somber Hall said. “We hung in, we worked hard. We even took the lead in the fourth quarter by two.
“It was all over (cold shooting), especially in the third quarter. We only scored four points,” he added. “It killed us.
Hall said the Tonawanda locker room after the game was a sad one but he tried to encourage his players.
“We played about as well as we could, except we did not shoot the ball (well),” Hall said. “It’ll get better.”
Things certainly worked out well for the Warriors girls’ basketball team in the first round as they topped the Jacks 40-30 in the girls T-NT hardwood match up.
Tonawanda was led by Joanna McCarthy’s 14 points and 13 rebounds as they topped their rivals from across the canal.
McCarthy and junior Savanna Baughman, who finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and three steals, were huge for the Warriors as they combined to shutdown NT’s 6-foot center Kali Marsh.
Baughman was especially tenacious as she went toe-to-toe with the bigger, more experienced Marsh who was held to just five points.
Ashley Kowalcyk, who continues to be the cornerstone of the Warrior defense, grabbed nine rebounds, while Snyder added seven points and five big steals.
Snyder and Kalyn Compeau, who shared the point guard duties on both nights, did well bringing the ball up court for the Warriors.
Amherst Claire Wanzer was named tournament MVP, while McCarthy, Snyder and NT’s Rachelle Judy were named to the all-tournament team.
Amherst beat Buffalo-East 53-15 to advance to the finals. NT hung a 74-10 loss on East in the third place game. The Jacks nailed nine three-pointers and had four players in double digits.
The Warriors boys, who were led by Clayton Hess’ 19 points, fought their way out of a 10-2 hole at the end of the first. It was a nip-and-tuck game until the end.
Tonawanda crushed Buffalo Science 61-30 in the opening round. Hess, who along with Nick Pullo was named to all-tournament team, led THS with 24 points.