Another mission completed.
For the last 12 months, ever since losing in last season’s Section VI Class B-2 championship, the Fredonia Lady Hillbillies have been on a mission to win sectionals.
Now, they are headed to Far West Regionals.
Hannah Cybart had 27 points and 10 rebounds as Class B-1 champion Fredonia beat B-2 champs Wilson 53-47 in the overall Class B title game that was played at Buffalo State College Wednesday night.
The win lifts the Billies to their first appearance in the Far West Regionals in 13 years when they face Section V Mynderse Saturday at 7pm at Buff State.
“For me it’s 13 years, for them it’s just the last three,” said a very proud Fredonia coach Carol Zirkle.
“Oh it’s soooo much better,” said an overjoyed Hannah Cybart. “You can’t really picture this level of happiness.”
Knocking off City Honors (pre-quarterfinals) and Tonawanda (quarterfinals) along the way the Billies achieved their year long goal of a sectional crown when they defeated Depew.
Now, and old foe in Wilson stood between them and regionals.
Given the recent history between the two programs-Fredonia eliminating Wilson in the B-2 semis the last two years-a battle was expected and the game lived up to the hype and then some.
Cybart’s play sparked the Billies quick start as they raced to a 17-6 lead. Wilson gained a lift from Emily Kelly’s buzzer beater that made it 17-10.
But it was the sharp-shooting Rachel Senak who helped the Lake Women pull within five points, 30-25, by halftime as she went a perfect 8-for-8 from the line in the second quarter and amazing 16-for-16 for the game.
“She’s been amazing all year,” Wilson coach Brian Baker said. “We’ve rode her and Kayla Neumann all season offensively. Obviously I think they’re the two top guards in Western New York.”
Wilson’s aggressive press forced the Billies to work hard, but they were up to the challenged and at the end of the day Fredonia received contributions from everyone in what may very well have been their most complete team effort of the season.
“They’re a very good team. They’re very well coached. We knew they were going to throw a lot of defenses at us. We knew we were going to see a lot of different defenses and we did,” Zirkle said. “We saw just about every defense they could throw at us and we had different girls step up and respond at different times. I was especially happy with our defense. I thought our defense did a great job of trying to shut down their top two scorers (Senak and Neumann) that was our goal.”
“I thought that different players stepped up at different times,” Zirkle continued. “I thought Zoya Katta did a phenomenal job on (Senak) she really did an incredible job. Hannah Gullo did an incredible job on (Neumann). I thought the rest of the girls did an incredible job of helping them out.”
When the game got tight Katie Price (seven rebounds/five steals) stepped up and became the force who won the much needed battle for rebounds. When they were in foul trouble Zirkle went to the bench for JV call-ups Kazlin Beers and Grace Mroczka who delivered quality minutes.
Gullo finished with five assists for the Billies.
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