Weekly Feature

2018-02-08 / Sports

EA girls hoops posts pair of big wins

East Aurora’s girls basketball team won with relative ease in two of its three most recent games, holding both Pioneer and Springville under 20 points each while moving to 9-0 on the season in ECIC III action.

A strong start to Monday’s 68-18 triumph over Pioneer Monday all but dashed the Lady Panthers’ hopes in the first half, as East Aurora improved on its 17-3 first-quarter run with a 22-2 burst in the second quarter that left it ahead by a 39-5 count at the break. East Aurora didn’t relent in the second half, going on a 17-6 run in the third quarter to enter the final stanza with a healthy 47-point cushion.

“We were just clicking on all cylinders against Pioneer,” coach Gary Schutrum said. “We were organized, we were disciplined and we shot the ball really well. It’s always good when you can get a lot of contributions from a lot of people.”

Emma Brinker led the way for East Aurora with 21 points, 10 rebounds, three steals and two blocks. Both Maddy McLaughlin (7 rebounds, 7 steals) and Sarah Tully (3 rebounds, 3 steals) scored eight points each, while Bronte Martin chipped in with six points and seven rebounds.

Kennedy Horning, whom Schutrum said “played really well for us off the bench,” contributed six points and seven rebounds for the Lady Blue Devils, who entered the game with momentum on their side after taking down Cheektowaga three days earlier, 59-41, in this year’s Senior Night game.

The Lady Warriors made East Aurora work hard to get this victory, as the Lady Blue Devils made just 10-of-30 field goals in the first half. Fortunately East Aurora’s defense was up to the task, holding Cheektowaga to 15 points in the same time span to begin the second half holding a 23-15 lead.

A 19-11 run over the course of the third quarter gave East Aurora some breathing room heading into the final stanza.

“We got some good shots early in the game, but the ball just wouldn’t drop for whatever reason,” Schutrum said. “We got a nice jump start from Tully when she came into the game and made three straight baskets, and [Katherine] Jancevski also gave us a nice spark too when she came into the game.”

Brinker led the way for East Aurora with 23 points, 17 rebounds and three blocks, while Tully finished with 13 points, eight rebounds, five steals, two blocks and two assists. Emma Oar made 5-of-6 shots to record a season-high 10 points, while Martin finished with five points, five rebounds and three steals.

East Aurora’s week kicked off in splendid fashion Jan. 31 as the Lady Blue Devils were dominant from start to finish in posting a 48-13 victory over Springville. East Aurora’s defense, which has been carrying the load as of late, shifted into high gear in the second quarter to hold the Lady Griffins scoreless for the frame. That effort helped the Lady Blue Devils push their advantage to 28-4 at the half.

“I honestly don’t know what happened this time, because they didn’t play us as well this time as they did the first time we played them earlier this season,” Schutrum said.

Tully led the way for East Aurora with 15 points, six rebounds, six blocks and five steals, while Brinker finished with 10 points, five rebounds, three assists and two blocks. McLaughlin chipped in with six points, six steals, three rebounds, two blocks and two assists, while Gretchen Riemer contributed four points and three rebounds.

East Aurora (12-3, 9-0 ECIC III) was scheduled to begin its home-and-home series with crosstown rival Iroquois on the road Wednesday, but information about that contest was not available at press time. The two squads will play again at East Aurora on Saturday afternoon before the Lady Blue Devils complete league play Monday against Lake Shore.

East Aurora will then take part in Lockport’s tournament on Friday, Feb. 16, and Saturday, Feb. 17, to close out the regular season. The Lady Blue Devils will face Nichols in the first round, and then either the hosts or Albion in the second round.

“We just need to do the little things well, especially as we end the regular season playing some really good teams,” Schutrum said. “We need to box out on every single shot, and we can’t accept being boxed out at the same time. We need to sprint the floor both ways, we need to communicate with each other, and we just need to do our individual jobs within our system. We’ve got our work seriously cut out for ourselves to close out the regular season, so we need to keep our emotions in check and not get too fired up.”

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