By Dave Ricci firstname.lastname@example.org
The Tonawanda News
Tonawanda News — The Lady Warriors were not going to lose. Not on this night. And not on their floor.
Alanna Herne scored 21 points as No. 3 Tonawanda beat No. 6 Newfane 62-41 in a Section VI Class B-1 quarterfinal that was played at the George H. Miller Gymnasium on Thursday night.
The win vaults Tonawanda into the semifinals where they will play the winner of Buffalo Arts/Depew at Sweet Home High School next Wednesday night.
Tonawanda not only advanced in the playoffs, the win got the proverbial monkey off its backs after seeing their season come to an end in this round on their home floor the past two seasons.
“We’ve been working hard in practice everyday and we’re having so much fun,” said Herne. “It would be so sad if we stopped (because) we lost. So we’re just happy that we kept going.”
Herne, who also had five assists and four rebounds, was absolutely masterful running the offense. She set the tone with the first bucket of the game and added a pair of 3-pointers as Tonawanda raced to a 20-8 lead at the end of the first quarter.
But as sharp as Herne was she was fast to say this was a great total team effort.
Savanna Baughman (nine rebounds) and Paige Hill (10) helped the Warriors win the battle of the boards.
Haley Snyder had 12 points off of the bench, including two 3-pointers in the third quarter that put the momentum back in Tonawanda’s favor after Newfane clawed its way back to cut the Warriors lead to 37-28 midway through the third. Snyder’s first 3-pointer with just inside three minutes to play in the third was the catalyst for Tonawanda to extend its lead to 47-28.
Freshman Haley Schoelerman had eight points and played solid in her first sectional game.
“Once we have our momentum it’s hard to stop (us),” Herne said. “It’s encouraging and we try to stay positive and we try to build each other up if something goes wrong.”
While the final score appears rather lopsided, the Lady Panthers gave the Warriors a strong test they needed to keep them sharp. Especially when you factor in that smaller, quick teams have been a challenge for Tonawanda this year.
“It was just fantastic. The kids wanted it so bad,” said Tonawanda coach Jay Hall. “We told them we can’t start slow, and they didn’t. In the third quarter we were ready for it, but Newfane chipped away, chipped away, and cut it to nine. Then our kids just said this is enough, let’s go. And it’s just great. It’s super, not for me, for them.”
Kalyn Compeau added 14 points for the Warriors and Paige Emborsky had 13 points for Newfane.Follow @tonanewssports and contributor @DaveARicci on Twitter for complete high school sports coverage.