We're live at Canisius College for the first of two Monsignor Martin girls semifinals games. The first matchup features Nardin and Sacred Heart, with Nichols and Mount St. Mary to play at 7:30.
As the Black Eyed Peas say, let's get it started ...
6:06 p.m.: A slow start and some good defense have added up to few points. Sacred Heart leads, 2-1, on a pair of free throws with less than six minutes to go in the first quarter. Nardin's Brianna Smith has been a force so far down low, recording a pair of blocked shots.
6:08: A free throw and the first field goal of the game, by Smith, give Nardin a 3-2 lead with less than four to play in the opening quarter.
6:10: First field goal for Sacred Heart comes from Sarah Pawlak. Her jumper from the right side puts the Sharks up, 4-3.
6:17: Sacred Heart leads, 8-5, after the first quarter. Victoria Krantz hit a 12-footer with about 20 seconds to play to extend the lead.
NOTE: We've made an executive decision on the blog from here on out: We'll go with the time left remaining in the quarter at the start of the update instead of the actual time.
6:07 remaining: First timeout sees the Sharks lead, 10-7. Nice jumper by Nardin's Hannah Gardner cut the Shaks' lead to three.
4:42: Offensive rebound and putback by Sharks junior Bridget Andrews makes it 12-7.
2:48: Sophomore center Katie Healy runs the floor well for Sacred Heart. She just proved as much by getting open for an easy layup in transition and a 14-9 lead.
2:15: Healy shows the other part of her game, getting great position in the paint for another layup and a 16-9 lead. We're in a timeout.
1:17: Nardin stops an 8-0 run as senior Erin O'Brien gets open on a good cut to the basket, scores and is fouled. Her free throw makes it 20-12 Sharks.
0:00: Halftime, with Sacred Heart holding a 20-12 lead. Nardin had a couple good looks near the buzzer, but the shots wouldn't fall.
4:41: A jumper by junior Chloe Wingerter and a turnover by Sacred Heart have Gators fans hoping for a comeback. It's 24-15, Sharks.
3:30: Timeout. Random thought: How do teams from Buffalo get nicknames like Gators and Sharks? Reminds me of my college days in Flordia with those mascots. The Nardin rally was short-lived, it's 28-15, Sacred Heart.
:44.9: Healy knocks down 1 of 2 free throws and the Sharks are in control, 31-17.
:00.0: End of three. Big rejection by Healy at the buzzer keeps the score 31-17, Sharks.
3:53: Timeout Sharks, sorry for the delay in posts. Combination of checking in with the office, and not a lot happening. It's 35-22 Sacred Heart.
2:23: Awesome sequence for Nardin's Wingerter, who scores on a great backdoor cut off an assist from Erin O'Brien, then gets a steal and converts a layup. Sacred Heart's lead is in single digits, 35-26.
:50.7: Timeout Nardin, with possession. A clutch jumper by Sacred Heart's Sarah Pawlak, who has been held in check tonight, pushed the Sharks' lead back to nine.
:21.1: The fouling has started. Pawlak hits a pair and it looks like Sacred Heart will advance to the final at 1 p.m. Sunday. That game will be at Daemen College.
:00.0: 39-28 final, Sacred Heart. Off for interviews.
We're back for game two, featuring Nichols and Mount St. Mary:
6:16: Transition layup for Sloan Walton of Nichols gives the Vikings a quick 6-2 lead.
4:55: Three-pointer for Brianna Smith continues a good start for the Vikings, who lead, 9-2.
2:27: Great inbounds pass from Smith to Kylie Reinholz for a layup makes it 14-6, Vikings.
:00.0: Nichols is showing why it won the regular season title in the Monsignor Martin. The Vikings lead after one, 17-6.
5:33: Timeout Nichols, as Mount St. Mary has cut the lead to 19-12. The last basket came on a layup by Mary Emminger.
3:01: The Thunder has played much better this quarter, especially getting back on defense, and has cut the lead to six, 22-16, on a three-pointer by junior Tara Topolski.
1:13: The last few bounces have gone Nichols' way, including some good hustle by Meaghan Heldwein to get on the floor and secure a loose ball. That led to a field goal by Smith that stretched the lead back to 10, 28-18.
:28.8: Huge collision under the basket as Emminger tries to try a charge on Reinholz, unsuccessfully. She makes 1 of 2 free throws for a 29-18 lead.
00.0: Halftime, 29-18. Back in 10 minutes while we do some work on the story for tomorrow's paper.
6:11: MSM has the first four points of the second half to make it 29-22 and prompt a Nichols timeout.
2:58: We've got a game here as a three-pointer by Topolski makes it 34-29. Updates will be a bit more sporadic from here on out since we've got a game story to write on deadline.
2:06: Quick 5-0 spurt by Nichols makes it 39-29 and prompts a timeout by MSM coach Steve Gathers. Siobhan Hanley hit a three for the Vikings before the TO.
00.0: End of three, 42-21 Nichols. Hanley added another three-pointer to trump a jumper by Topolski.
5:44: Wow. Hanley has two more three-pointers, that's four in the second half, and Nichols is in control, 48-33. Great shooting on a night when offense has been at a premium.
3:19: Vikings have really caught fire from downtown. Smith and Elizabeth Cook hit treys of their own, making it 54-36. Nichols-Sacred Heart looms Sunday.
2:02: Full timeout, 58-42 Nichols in front. MSM hanging tough, but running out of time.
00.0: It's a final, 61-46 Nichols, setting up a rematch of last year's MMA final. Off for interviews. Check the blog later for additional notes and quotes and, of course, Wednesday's Buffalo News for the game story.
taggedBasketball | Canisius | Monsignor Martin Association | Mount St. Mary | Nardin | Nichols | Sacred Heart | Sports