Sharing the spotlight is the Lockport Kiwanis Club Girls Basketball Tournament scheduled for Friday and Saturday.
Here's some information that Lockport athletic director Pat Burke put together for the 28th annual tournament:
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The event tips off Friday when Olean plays Shenendehowa at 6 p.m. followed by Lockport and Nichols. The losers play in the consolation Saturday at 6 p.m. while the winners meet for the title at 7:45 p.m.
The event features Shenendehowa, a power from the Albany area, is currently ranked No. 5 in the state in Class AA. Nichols is the No. 6 large school in Western New York. Olean is the No. 1 small school in WNY and the No. 4 Class B school in the state. Host Lockport is the No. 1 large school in WNY and ranked No. 11 in Class AA in the state.
Nichols (14-4) is tied for first place in the Monsignor Martin Association.
Lockport, the defending champions put on the court one of the tallest teams in the area. They are the five-time defending Niagara Frontier League champion, having run through a 14-0 season. The Lions are also the defending Section VI Class AA champions. They will be hunting for a 17th Section VI championship.
The Lions are led by 5-10 senior Lea Sobieraski, 5-8 junior guard Caroline Randall and 5-year starting point guard 5-8 senior Renee Schwartz.
Shenendehowa is one of the long time powers in the state, coming over from Section II. Shen's coach, Ken Strube, has over 500 wins in his career. In their last trip to the Kiwanis tournament, Shen was beaten in the finals by Nichols in one of the most entertaining games in tournament history.
Olean, the defending Section VI Class B champions, will once again be considered the favorite in the Sectionals. Coach Don Scholla's club plays an entertaining brand of up tempo basketball also having one of the best big players in the state in Rachel Bantelman. Bantelman will be headed to the University at Buffalo next season on a basketball scholarship.
Senior point guard Alicia Mikowicz also returns for her second year as a starter and will give the team excellent experience at the guard position. Seniors Grace Williamson and Brittney Lee move into starting positions after playing key reserve roles on last year's team.
Admission is $3 for adults, $1 for students.
---Mary Jo Monnin
taggedBasketball | Lockport | Nichols | Olean