Grand Island Wins Class A-1 Final


Olean, Grand Island are 'A' OK
News Sports Reporter
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Joelle Connelly (14) of Pioneer and Lauren Nedwick of Grand Island battle for possession in their Class A-1 final.


Of all the little bank shots Tracy Wangelin has made in her career, none was bigger than the one she made with 9.7 seconds left on Wednesday night.

The basket was the difference as Olean rallied from a 10-point deficit in the second half to beat Springville, 50-47, in the Section VI Class A-2 final before 421 at the Erie Community College Flickinger Center.

In the Class A-1 final, Grand Island won its first sectional title since 1985 with a 59-49 decision over Pioneer. Olean (20-3) will play Grand Island (17-6) for the overall Class A title at noon on Saturday back at ECC.

Wangelin, standing wide open under the basket, took a perfect feed from Molly Scholla to put the final touches on Olean's sixth sectional title. "Molly just drove baseline and I couldn't believe when I got it," said Wangelin, who finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds. "I knew it was down to that and I had to make it."

Scholla had one more big play to make. With four seconds left, she stole the ball at halfcourt, dashing Springville's hopes for a dramatic win. "Ashley (Turner) was playing really good defense . . . and I just saw a little opening, and I just kind of grabbed it and went," said Scholla.

The Huskies outran Springville in the first quarter to take a 14-10 lead, but in the second quarter they went cold from the outside against Springville's zone, getting outscored, 18-6. Scholla, who finished with 21 points, opened the third quarter by hitting three consecutive three-pointers to bring Olean within 30-29.

Olean wouldn't take the lead for good until Wangelin made it 46-45 with 1:07 left. Olean shot just 27 percent from the floor for the game, but grabbed 17 offensive rebounds and forced 20 Springville turnovers.

The Griffins (18-2) got solid play on both ends of the floor from Maryjane DiCenzo (15 points) and Jenna Krzemien (14).

Meanwhile, Grand Island used a 7-0 spurt in the fourth quarter to finally shake Pioneer. With the score tied, 43-43, Lauren Nedwick scored on a pass from Meghan MacGuire to give the Vikings the lead for good with 5:30 left. Ashleigh Frieday followed with a three-pointer and Nedwick added a layup before Pioneer could answer.

Ashton Duda led the Vikings with 17 points, including four free throws in the game's final 52 seconds. MacGuire added 13 points and Frieday tallied 12 with nine rebounds. The Vikings won it from the line by making 20 of 26 free throws.

The loss snapped Pioneer's 20-game winning streak. Pioneer was led by eighth-grader Joelle Connelly (21 points), who showed she can score with defenders hanging on her. She struggled at the line though, making (1 of 9). Michelle Bull added 13 to keep her team close.

In an ugly incident after the game, Pioneer coach Max Payne ran after the three officials as they exited the court after the final horn. Several fans from both sides of the stands followed in pursuit. Security quickly took control of the situation.

Fouls were called 20-19 in Pioneer's favor, and Pioneer was in the double bonus before GI, but that didn't stop Payne from riding the officials all game long. With 1.3 seconds left and Grand Island shooting a free throw he yelled, "you (stink)" as he continued to jaw with the refs.

Payne defended his actions, saying: "I'm sure everybody in here thinks I went after the officials. He said (expletive) to me. I've got witnesses who heard it."