By Matt Parrino
The Tonawanda News
Tonawanda News — Savanna Baughman didn't log many minutes last season as part of a crowded Tonawanda frontcourt that included three seniors. So Lady Warriors coach Jay Hall wasn't sure what to expect out of the 5-foot-10 junior coming into this year.
But over the course of the season she's given the Tonawanda girls basketball team a secondary presence in the paint alongside standout Joanna McCarthy, and Hall said she's improving every game.
She finished with game highs in points (14) and rebounds (12) on Monday night, leading the Lady Warriors to a 42-21 win over ECIC IV contender Eden (7-7, 5-4 ECIC IV). She scored eight points as a part of a dominating, 15-2 fourth quarter for Tonawanda (12-2, 8-0 ECIC IV), who remains undefeated in league play.
"Her defense is getting better and when she gets inside and near the basket, she's going to score a lot of them. It's really helped us this year," Hall said about Baughman's progression.
An Eden player fell and bent back Baughman's leg in the second quarter, but the forward was able to fight through the pain and finish the game.
"I didn't want to quit and I wanted to be there for my team," she said. "I wanted to win the game because we're undefeated and I want to stay undefeated, and have another great season."
McCarthy continues to shine for the Lady Warriors. She scored 10 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, good for her 10th double-double of the season. Kalyn Compeau scored nine points, dished out six assists and had five rebounds, and Alanna Herne had a game-high seven assists and four steals.
Hall was excited about his team's effort after the game.
"(Eden) really scared me. Last game we held them to 17 but they were just cold shooting, and I thought they'd come out and fire it up, and they did, but we did too," he said. "(Our team) is just great. They pass the ball super, they hustle up and down — I can't say enough good things about them."
The Lady Raiders led in the first quarter at 6-4, but Tonawanda finished the frame on a 6-0 run to take back the lead. Then in the second quarter, after an early basket by Eden, the Lady Warriors went on a 10-0 run and exited to the locker room up 21-9.
Eden made a couple 3-pointers in the third to make it competitive, but Tonawanda responded with the big fourth quarter.
Baughman said the team is starting to come together.
"We've been working really hard and I think everybody hustled and played our best during the game," she said. "We all work as a team no matter what. There's no problems because we're like a family and we all just work together."Contact sports editor Matt Parrino at 693-1000 ext. 4117 and find Tonawanda News sports on Twitter @tonanewssports.