Tonawanda News — As the Tonawanda Lady Warriors moved into the final segment of Friday’s practice, coach Jay Hall smiled and said this day was also about having some fun.
Make no mistake, though. The Lady Warriors used their time efficiently. They ran plays and made sure everything was tight regarding Xs and Os. On this, the final practice before the biggest game of their lives, Hall felt it was just as important to take a few minutes to simply live in the moment of how far they have come.
“That’s what we’re doing. We’re still doing our normal stuff,” Hall said. “But we’re just having a little bit of fun on top of it. They deserve it. They’ve worked hard all year.”
Tonawanda, the Section VI Class B champion, will face Section V Class B champion Bishop Kearney in the Far West Regionals at 11 a.m. today at Finger Lakes Community College. The winner will advance to next weekend’s state tournament, held in Hudson Valley.
Tonawanda will be facing by far its toughest challenge in the Kings, who went 19-2 as they mowed their way to the top of the hill in Rochester.
The Kings are led by captains Kharysma Bryant (15 ppg) and 6-foot-1 forward Emmanuella Edoka (12 ppg). The Warriors know Kearney presents a very difficult challenge, but they are continuing with the mantra of “it’s just another game.”
“It’s definitely going to be a challenge,” said Hall. “Nobody thinks it’s going to be easy, but no matter what the outcome I only know one thing, these girls will not quit.”
The Massey system, which ranks high school teams nation wide, has a simulated game feature that predicted Bishop Kearney to score a 62-47 win. But there is no way a computer can measure the intangibles like the heart, hustle and contributions off the bench that has helped Tonawanda get this far.