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Published: January 08, 2009 10:16 pm   

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Wegrzyn, Vikings throttle N-W

By Nate Beutel
Niagara Gazette

Grand Island — Defense defines Grand Island girls basketball and Thursday’s performance proved just that.

The Vikings used a stifling full-court press and a career-high 17 points from Kristin Wegrzyn to top visiting Niagara-Wheatfield 52-31 in Niagara Frontier League action. The victory evens GI’s record at 5-5 overall and 2-2 in the league.

“We knew we had to get rolling and start hitting our stride soon,” veteran Vikings coach Jenepher Banker said. “A game like this, with the type of defense we played, is a good start.”

Speaking of good starts, that’s exactly what the Vikings got off to Thursday. Wegrzyn, who added eight rebounds in the win, had nine points in the opening period as GI opened up a quick 10-point lead.

“Kristin’s really coming along because she’s taken ahold of her role, just as she showed (Thursday),” Banker said.

Jeannie Taylor, who finished with six points and two steals, came off the bench during the first quarter and provided a spark on both ends of the floor.

“She gave us some nice energy,” Banker said of the sophomore guard.

GI’s leading scorer Kallie Banker began to heat up in the second quarter as she netted seven of her 15 points, helping the Vikings take a 31-16 lead at the half.

“We didn’t handle their trap very well … and the turnovers came in bunches,” N-W coach Diane Fegatilli said. “Then they started making some shots, too.”

The third quarter began much like the first two with GI sprinting out to an 8-3 run that extended its lead to 20 and all but put the game away.

“In the past we haven’t started the second half very good, but we came out with a much higher intensity and the outcome was much better,” Wegrzyn said.

Mary Scherrer added nine rebounds for GI, while Katie Kroening led N-W (6-4, 2-2) with eight points. Stephanie Schmidt added seven points and seven rebounds in the loss.

Junior Varsity

• Kailey Walck scored 13 points while Meghan Gonyea and Brianne Hebeler each added eight as N-W improved to 10-0 with a 37-23 defeat of GI. The Vikings were led by Cassie Oasler’s eight points.