By Joe Kraus
The lion is known as the king of the jungle. That’s the same way to describe how this game went. After a slow start, the Lockport Lady Lions dominated in all aspects of the game and ran away with a 51-27 victory over the CSAT Eagles Friday night at the Lion’s Den, thanks to another strong performance from the senior duo of Kathryn Krchniak (game-high 17 points) and Carissa DiTullio (10 points).
The major turning point of the game came in the second quarter when the Lions made three connections from beyond the arc and went into the break with a 27-17 lead. The only time the Eagles led in the game was in the opening seconds of the first quarter when sophomore guard Rashanik Hendricks converted a three-pointer. The Lions quickly erased the deficit with Miracle Douglass’ lone basket and two free-throws from DiTullio and never looked back. “We played good D” Lady Lions coach Karen Catalano said after the game. “We got them to take the shots we wanted them to take”.
While the Eagles had great success on the defensive end with guards Yaya Navarro and Kiara Davis-Patterson leading the team in steals, their only production offensively came from beyond the arc as the size of Krchniak, Douglass and notable reserves Mirqrie Douglass and Jael Chandler protected the paint. Junior Jenelle Gurbacki did her best, however, as she finished the game with 4 points for the Eagles and recorded a few offensive rebounds down the stretch to try to keep her team in the game.
But by the time the fourth quarter arrived, the damage was done as the Lions built a 38-21 lead over their foe with the duo of Krchniak and DiTullio contributing in the paint, beyond the arc and from the free-throw line. Sarah Kurbs also had a solid performance for the Lions. Even though she only had one basket, the senior made her presence known by providing a headache for the Eagles guards, a job that she has been known to do for the Lions the past four seasons against their opponents in the Niagara Frontier League.
Considering that the team struggled against Irondequoit in their non-league matchup at the end of December, the Lady Lions have found their groove in the month of January. Heading into their matchup against North Tonawanda coming up on Jan. 31, Lockport has now won 5 of their last 7 games in league play. Other notable contributors for the Lions (8-5 record, 7-2 Niagara Frontier League) were sophomore Kourtney Krchniak (5 points) and Jasmine Darrell (4 points).
For the Lady Eagles, the team at times showed that they are still adjusting to playing in the Frontier but have the potential to find more success this season with the impressive play of their guards, most notably Hendricks, who finished with 14 points. Other contributors were Navarro (4 points) and fellow upper-classmen Alianna Santiago and Kiara King added a bucket apiece. CSAT (5-10 record, 2-8 Niagara Frontier League) will continue their inaugural season in the Frontier on Jan. 31 when they visit the Grand Island Vikings.
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