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The Tonawanda News
Tonawanda News — Make that four in a row for the Lady Warriors.
Alanna Herne had 18 points as Tonawanda scored a convincing 68-19 win over North Tonawanda in the opening round of the Tonawanda Holiday Tournament that was played at the George H. Miller Gym on Friday night.
The Warriors now advance to Monday’s championship game (7 p.m.) against Amherst, who punched its ticket to the title game after beating Niagara Wheatfield, 62-33.
For the fourth year in a row, the Lady Warriors have topped the Lady Jacks. It also marks Tonawanda’s first victory of the school year over its Twin Cities rival.
“They’re our biggest rival and it’s always good to beat them,” said Herne, who had seven assists and eight rebounds.
The Jacks got on the board first when Heather Fontana sank a field goal but there wouldn’t be much for NT to celebrate after that.
Early on, Tonawanda seemed more focused on trying to hit 3-pointers but didn’t have any luck. Once they settled down and played their game of controlling the ball and making efficient, well-timed passes and driving to the ring, they were able to race to a 15-3 lead at the end of the first quarter and never look back.
“Obviously the T-NT game is important to them in any sport and we talked about that too,” said Tonawanda coach Jay Hall. “I said if it was us, what would we be doing? We’d be clawing trying to get back in it and we can’t let ‘em do that.”
For NT, who lost Megan Weaver again to an ankle injury and had just eight girls on the bench, it’s about finding a way to persevere. The Jacks know that they have to solve the problem themselves because there is no magic answer coming from outside the team to save the day.
“No one’s coming to help,” said NT coach Luke Vogel. “First of all Tonwanda deserves credit, they’re good. Alanna is a talented point guard that changes the flow of the game and she doesn’t make any mistakes.”
Liz Wildt led NT with six points. Savanna Baughman had 10 rebounds and five points while Kalyn Compeau added 10 points and four steals for the Warriors.
The Warriors (6-1) now prepare for Amherst — the team that has beaten them in the title game the past two seasons — as they look to claim the championship of its tournament for the first time in five years.
“They seem more aggressive this year and quicker,” Herne said of Amherst.