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Hornell-Wellsville girls win, will face off in Section V girls’ playoffs Wednesday

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By CHRIS BROOKS, managing editor, wellsvillesports.com

Hornell downed Livonia while Wellsville dispatched LeRoy. Hornell (19-3) the No. 1 seed takes on No. 5 Wellsville (14-7) on Wednesday night at HF-L.Here are the game stories:

No. 5 Wellsville 51, No. 4 LeRoy 35

LEROY — With one of the State’s best waiting in the wings for next week’s Class B Semifinal round, just one more spot was up for grabs to decide who was going to battle it out for a chance to play for all of Section V’s glory.

It was a matchup that the No. 5 Lady Lions of Wellsville had their sights set on after their last meeting with No. 1 Hornell at the Dan Barkley Showcase back in mid-January. In order to navigate their way there, the No. 4 Lady Oatkan Knights of LeRoy were the next obstacle standing in their way in the Quarterfinal round come Saturday afternoon.

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After showcasing a phenomenal display of defense against No. 12 Midlakes to open their Sectional journey, the Lady Lions would do it all over again across the first half to set a profound tone, garnering a lead that would reach 20 points in the second half to give them all the room they needed to march forward in what shaped into a 51-35 win over LeRoy to claim the matchup against their longtime archnemesis in the Semifinals.

“We played solid defense all game long. At the beginning of the third, Natalie (Adams) hit a three and we got a big stop after that to keep things working in our direction. The first half gave us the room we needed to work with, and our defensive ability led to pushing against them on offense to get them on their heels. It was a little shaky at times, but we hung on.” Lady Lions coach Michelle Alvord said.

The first half saw Wellsville (14-7) connect on all angles of the floor to set the tone almost immediately out of the gate against the Lady Oatkan Knights, beginning with a first quarter that witnessed them claiming a 14-6 advantage. The defense would come through another time to close out the half strong by holding LeRoy to six more points across the second quarter, all while capitalizing on a 15-6 run to take a 29-12 lead at the break.

In the beginning stages of the second half, the lead for the Lady Lions would eclipse 20 points, as the offense continued to provide many more sparks to maintain their distance from the No. 4 seeds permanently.

Leading the charge on the offense was Natalie Adams and her team-high 15 points, pairing them with three rebounds, three assists and three steals. Makenna Dunbar was not far behind, chipping in 14 points and seven rebounds, while Averee Palmatier had 11 points.

Adding more special teams assistance along the way was Caelyn Stevens, who was the team’s leading rebounder with eight in all. Emily Stuck recorded six more off the glass.

The stage is now set for the Lady Lions come Wednesday night at Honeoye Falls-Lima, as they now battle Hornell for the right to partake in the Class B Finals next weekend at Finger Lakes Community College.

The Class B Semifinal bout between the two storied rivals will begin at 7:45 p.m. following the No. 3 Mynderse/No. 2 Dansville showdown.

Wellsville 14 15 9 13 – 51

LeRoy 6 6 9 14 – 35

WELLSVILLE: Caelyn Stevens 2 0-0 4, Natalie Adams 5 4-4 15, Emily Stuck 1 2-4 5, Averee Palmatier 4 1-2 11, Makenna Dunbar 5 4-7 14, Jaden Dunbar 0 2-2 2. Totals: 17 13-19 51.

LEROY: Sierra Burk 1 0-0 2, Corina Dunn 2 0-0 4, Abby Allen 3 7-12 16, Abby Zitz 3 1-2 7, Kenna Mackenzie 1 0-0 2, Lindsey Steffenilla 2 0-2 4. Totals: 12 8-16 35.

3-point goals: Wellsville 4 (Palmatier 2, Adams, Stuck), LeRoy 3 (Allen).
Total Fouls: Wellsville 17, LeRoy 12. Fouled out: None.

Hornell story after photos from JC’s Photography and the Golden Lens

Hornell 61, Livonia 53

Top-seeded Hornell got a pair of huge three-pointers from Mia Nasca to help the Lady Raiders fend off No. 8 Livonia 61-53 in Section V Class B quarterfinal action Saturday.

Hornell led 16-7 after one but a 24-16 second-period run by Livonia closed the gap to 32-31 at the half.

Hornell outscored Livonia 18-5 in the third period to take control.

Raegan Evingham led Hornell with 19 points while Payton Bentley and Selena Maldonado added 15 and 11 points respectively. Nasca finished with six points with both three-pointers coming at crucial times.

Livonia coach Karen Schuster played a triangle and two on Hornell’s top, two players – Jordyn Dyring and Lillian Hoyt – and held them to six and four points respectively.

“We started the game well tonight, setting the tone on defense,” Hornell coach Jim Dagon said. “In the second quarter, Livonia executed offensively very well and we got kind of complacent. I felt like we got too comfortable with the lead we had built and we just tried to outscore them instead of focusing on getting stops.

“We regrouped at halftime and came out locked in defensively holding Livonia to just five points in the third. During that time Mia Nasca came into the game and gave us a huge spark knocking down two, threes and throwing a great assist to Evingham,” Dagon added. “With a couple of our starters in foul trouble, Mia came in very clutch for us right when we needed it. Raegan Evingham, Payton Bentley, and Selena Maldonado led the way for us in the scoring column on a day when the Livonia defense made it tough for us to find good looks.”

However, defense wins championships.

“Jordyn Dyring and Lillian Hoyt also made me extremely proud on a night where they couldn’t get as much going offensively as they are accustomed to,” Dagon said. “Both Dyring and Hoyt did the dirty work all night playing great defense, and collecting loose balls and rebounds. They found a way to make their minutes extremely valuable without doing a ton of scoring and it shows their willingness to do whatever it takes to get a win.”

Livonia (13-9) was led by senior Mary Kwak with 19 points while freshman Molly Hitchcock added 15.

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