By Mike Pidanick
It was Senior Night for Depew High School girls basketball and it was only fitting that two seniors that have led the Wildcats for the last two seasons were the stars of the show.
Tess Borgosz dominated the middle all night long and Aviance Clark hit four three-pointers in the decisive third quarter as Depew posted a 53-41 win over cross-town rival Lancaster on Wednesday night.
“Especially on Senior Night, it’s always nice to beat Lancaster,” Borgosz said. “We switched our Senior Night and we were all looking forward to it. Especially against Lancaster, our cross-town rival, it’s cool to get the win.”
Both teams got off to a sluggish start as the Legends led 6-5 after one quarter and the Wildcats led 14-13 at halftime.
But after scoring just one point in the first half, Clark heated up in the third quarter, draining four 3-pointers en route to a 14-point frame. The Wildcats outscored the Legends 24-13 in th3e third to take control of the game.
“Shots weren’t falling for either team in the first half but then Avi decided to drop 14 on us in the third,” Lancaster coach Jayson Jaskier said with a friendly glare at a nearby Clark, drawing a laugh from the Depew guard. “Things opened up in the second half and they just opened up a little bit wider for them.”
Borgosz – a 6-foot-1 center, who recently signed her letter of intent to play Division I basketball at Towson University – was a force all night long. She led all playe4rs with 23 points and 14 rebounds. Once Clark broke out of her shooting slump, the Wildcats were in good shape.
“Tess and Avi, they do it all,” Depew coach Charlie Guay said. “Once Avi started to get going, so did we. She missed like eight in a row but when she started hitting, she really got going. I told her at halftime, ‘Just relax, they’ll start to drop.’ And they did.”
And for Clark, who averages a team-high 17 points per game, it wasn’t a matter of if but when she’d catch fire. She did in a second half and Depew never relinquished the lead after halftime.
“It was just confidence,” Clark said. “My team helped me get open and eventually the shots started to drop. It’s nice to win a rivalry game. In the second half, we did a great job of moving the ball and getting some stops. It was a good team win.”
As usual, the bulk of Depew’s scoring came from the devastating inside-outside combo of Borgosz and Clark but seven different Wildcats seniors scored on Wednesday. Depew’s 12-player roster consists of 10 seniors, combining for 23 years of varsity experience with the Wildcats (25 if you count Clark’s three years at Cleveland Hill).
“Senior Night, all the people got a chance to play,” Guay said. “That’s good. That’s what it’s all about. It wasn’t about the win or loss today, it was about the girls.”
Depew (11-5) now prepares for a showdown against perennial-power East Aurora on Friday. EA won by 20 at Depew in December but the Wildcats are brimming with confidence after knocking off previouisly-undefeated Lake Shore on Friday.
For Lancaster (8-5), Molly Mahony scored 14 points, Hannah Wozniak added added nine and Kelly Fellner tossed in eight.
“It’s a great non-league test, especially with our two towns being so close,” Jaskier said. “It’s awesome that they’re having the success that they’re having because every night we’re looking to get better and look for things we can improve on.”
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