It’s been a weekend of ending championship droughts at the Buffalo State Sports Arena, and this time, it was the Lancaster Girls Basketball team’s turn to join in on the fun.
The Legends used a dominant second half to down Clarence, 67-43, to claim the Section VI Class AA title and remain unbeaten on the season. It’s Lancaster’s first sectional title since 1978.
“It was an awesome game,” Lancaster coach Jayson Jaskier. “To think about that we haven’t been here in so long, haven’t won here in so long…these girls are just jumpstarting something that hopefully we can build upon in years to come.”
Lancaster got out to a quick start, holding Clarence scoreless over the first four minutes as a Madison Francis driving layup capped off a 12-2 run to begin the game, and they held onto a 16-7 lead after one. The Legends set the tone early on the boards, capitalizing on a multitude of offensive rebounds and forcing steals that led to transition opportunities all game.
“I think it’s an advantage for us,” Francis said. “That’s how we play, we normally play fast-paced, so it was awesome for us to just keep the ball up and keep going.”
The Red Devils fought back in the second, utilizing a 10-3 run to cut their deficit to just three, 22-19, off a 3-pointer from Ella Corry. However, that was as close as Clarence would get, as Rachel Kamrowski, who had 10 total points in the frame, and Madison Maciag combined for all 12 Lancaster points as part of a 12-5 run to end the second quarter, giving their side a 34-24 halftime edge.
“I think that I was more patient, I let the game come to me,” said Kamrowski, on her second quarter explosion, as she finished with a game-high 21 points. “We didn’t force things and we just had to play our game…we worked so hard for this moment. I know that the Lancaster community is hurting right now, and we won this not just for us, but for our community.”
Lancaster would run away with the game in the third stanza, embarking on a 16-4 run after Clarence got the quarter’s first basket, sparked by back-to-back steals and layups from Kamrowski and Francis in the opening minutes.
Francis tallied eight points as part of a 20-10 quarter victory. Her combination of size and speed proved a tough task for the Red Devils to guard all afternoon, as she was a force both on the defensive end and then in transition. She was named the game’s MVP, finishing with 18 points.
“She treats every game the same,” Jaskier said on Francis. “She’s an unselfish player, always looking to get her teammates involved and then when she sees her open lane, she’s going to take it. She’s just an incredible all-around player.”
Corry led Clarence with 14 points in the loss.
With the win, Lancaster advances to the Class AA Far West Regionals where they’ll play Bishop Kearney. That game is slated for 11 a.m. on March 12 at Rush-Henrietta High School.
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