By JOHN ANDERSON, photos by CHRIS BROOKS, wellsvillesports.com
After the Hornell girls’ basketball team defeated Bath on Thursday night, a team that downed Wellsville, a few weeks ago, it set up an interesting match up Saturday night in Wellsville.
Wellsville coach Michelle Alvord, who was honored pre-game for her recent 200th win, said she used five days of practice to prepare for the high-powered Hornell offense and put an offensive game-plan in place.
The Lions held Hornell scoreless most of the first quarter and played offense at a frenzied pace on the way to a 60-35 win over Hornell.
Hornell is now 8-2 while Wellsville is 10-2. The teams will play again Tuesday, Feb. 8 in Hornell.
“I will take a 25-point win over a quality team like Hornell any day. It builds on where we are. Hornell beat Bath and Dansville, so this is a measuring stick when we play those teams,” Alvord said. “Tonight our scoring was more balanced than in previous games and I can’t say enough about that. This was a good win, but we still have to play in Hornell.”
The game did have an odd feel because of Covid restrictions. The game was originally part of a Allegany County Sheriff’s Deputy’s Barkley Showcase, but the showcase featuring teams playing all day in a packed gym was canceled for the second year.
Wellsville school went to a policy that allows four spectators per player and coach and Wellsville students are allowed. The Hornell boys won in the Wellsville gym on Friday night, 68-64.
“I don’t think we were mentally ready to come in here and play tonight and Wellsville is a tough place to play,” Hornell coach Brian Dyring said. “But that being said, right now, we have three 8th-graders and a 9th-grader and we are 8-2. It’s not the end of the world. We have to prepare and focus for Aquainas.”
Dyring said the team will look to improve on containing guards from driving and a team to get in a rhythm like Wellsville showed Saturday.
“We had a lot of good looks, but when the ball doesn’t go in, we can’t press and we struggle — there are nights that little orange ball doesn’t go in that little orange rim, it is what it is,” Dyrins said.
Wellsville senior Kaylee Coleman had 10 rebounds, five points, five assists and two steals. She was one of four Lions with at least 10 rebounds, many of them offensive boards as a lot of plays were extended with rebounds.
“Overall, we played good offense, swung the ball, got good looks and the rebounding was there,” Coleman said. “I think the offense was a result of rebounding and we had balanced scoring. On defense, we had to stop their shooters from taking so many outside shots. We held them to 35 and that felt good.”
Senior guard Emily Costello drained three 3-pointers, scored 11 points with 10 rebounds for Wellsville while Marley Adams had 10 rebounds, 11 points and five assists and freshman Makenna Dunbar had 10 rebounds and nine points.
Wellsville senior Jaelyn Knapp had another strong game with 11 points, two steals, two assists and six rebounds. She also converted two 3-point plays.
Wellsville senior Jaylynn Mess scored eight points and provided an offensive spark when Hornell made a run in the second quarter to close the lead. Mess said she was told to take it to the basketball more and it worked.
“When you come out and make a shot, it gets your confidence up and the fans got going. We had a great student section and that was nice,” Mess said. “They are our rivals and they have some really good shooters. We wanted to come out and take it to them and we did.”
Wellsville balanced scoring also included Emily Robbins with a 3-pointer and Sara Reitz with three points.
Horenll had seven players in the scoring column as Lillian Hoyt had a game-high 13 points, Selena Maldonado had seven points and six rebounds while Jane Spitulnik had eight rebounds and three points, Jordyn Dyring scored five and Juliet Marino had four.
Hornell 5 17 8 5 – 35
Wellsville 12 16 18 14 – 60
HORNELL: Jordyn Dyring 2 0-0 5, Lillian Hoyt 4 2-2 13, Jane Spitulnik 1 0-2 3, Selena Maldonado 3 1-2 7, Maddie Moore 1 0-0 2, Juliet Marino 2 0-0 4, Payton Bentley 0 1-2 1. Totals: 13 4-8 35.
WELLSVILLE: Marley Adams 5 1-2 11, Jaylynn Mess 4 0-0 8, Emily Costello 3 1-2 10, Jaelyn Knapp 4 3-4 11, Emily Robbins 1 0-0 3, Sara Reitz 1 1-2 3, Kaylee Coleman 2 1-1 5, Makenna Dunbar 3 3-3 9. Totals: 23 10-14 60.
3-point goals: Hornell 5 (Hoyt 3, Dyring, Spitulnik), Wellsville 4 (Costello 3, Robbins).
Total Fouls: Hornell 13, Wellsville 10. Fouled out: None.