Cheektowaga girls unwilling to see basketball season end, upset Starpoint
The Warriors' run in the Class A-2 Section VI playoffs will continue as seventh-seeded Cheektowaga controlled second-half play on Saturday (Feb. 23) afternoon and posted a 51-38 win over No. 3 Starpoint in a quarterfinal game.
"Basically they knew that if we lost, they were going to have to turn in their jerseys," Cheektowaga coach Lynnae Fenton said. "None of them were ready to do that. They were not giving me those jerseys today."
Cheektowaga outscored the Spartans by a 24-9 count in the game's final 12 minutes. Andrea Montgomery scored 16 of her game-high 19 points in the second half to lead the Warriors' late flurry.
"We just kept moving the ball around and making better shots," Montgomery said. "It feels great; I can't wait to play again."
She'll get that chance at 6 p.m. on Wednesday as the Warriors will play Lake Shore in a sectional semifinal game at Kenmore West High School. Lake Shore, which advanced with a 47-31 win over Amherst on Saturday, swept a pair of ECIC-III matchups with Cheektowaga this season.
"Lake Shore is a challenge," Fenton said. "We've got our work cut out. We're going in as the underdogs. Maybe I can I tell them again, if we lose they give me their jerseys. Maybe that'll work again."
Starpoint, which entered on a five-game winning streak, endured a rough shooting afternoon. In the second half, the Spartans hit just 7 of 28 from the floor and Cheektowaga seized control.
"It was very tough," Starpoint coach Megan Rumschik said. "We had a lot of open looks but we couldn't make them — that was a real game-changer for us. We were trading baskets with them and when you do that, one of the teams is bound to start missing. Unfortunately, we were that team."
The game started out sluggish for both teams. Starpoint led by as many as seven in the first-half but the Warriors closed strong and the game was tied at 21-21 at halftime.
We knew that we shot very poorly in the first half," Fenton said. "The girls were extremely frustrated offensively, but then seeing that it was tied at the half, I said, 'Defensively, you're doing what you need to do. Offensively we need to step it up.'
“What we tried to do is drive, because when you start making a couple layups you're not afraid to take the shots," she added. "Then we started to be able to spread the floor and use the wings. So it was a matter of just going back to the basics and getting comfortable again.”
Markayla Feaster added 17 points for the Warriors (9-10). Erica Bradley scored 15 points to lead Starpoint (12-6). Hattie Lasal added 11 for the Spartans.