Lockport and Lancaster played a downright entertaining game on Tuesday night bringing a close to the 37th annual Section VI Girls Basketball Tournament. This battle of LHS vs. LHS came down to the last second when the Redskins missed a three-pointer that would have tied it.
Instead, Lockport earned the berth into the Far West Regionals with a 57-54 win.This game had many in the crowd of 850 on the edge of their seats at Niagara County Community College. The game had a little bit of everything. It was tied seven times, the last time coming at 51-51 with 3:28 left.
Unsung heroes? How about Lockport's 5-foot-3 junior guard, Alexis Cheatham, who can't weigh enough to donate blood, somehow finding herself alone in the paint with 28.1 seconds left and harmlessly dropping the ball through the hoop giving her team a three-point lead.
Subplots? The coaching matchup featured Lockport's Bill Shaw coaching against his pupil Karen Catalano, who coached in his program for seven years before getting her first varsity assignment two years ago at Lancaster. Shaw's statement that it was a shame someone had to lose wasn't lip service or coach-speak - it was from the heart. It would be a bigger shame if that man is forced out of coaching at Lockport after he retires from teaching in June.
What a display by the senior the post players from both teams. Emma Sobieraski and Marisa Guyton of Lockport can flat out play displaying great instincts, the ability to shoot off balance and negotiate the lane. Lancaster's Katie Healy looked every bit the future Division I player she is. She can play away from the basket, runs the floor like she's on fire, and times her block attempts well. Lancaster's backcourt of Kim Siresi and Sam Wozniak had a way of making Healy feel like they had her back. They don't force the ball inside to Healy. Instead, they are money from three-point range and win most of the battles for those 50-50 balls.
The feeling that both teams respected each other's abilities was in the air. This game was so different from the turnover-fests, jump ball marathons and air ball conventions girls basketball has become. Take a bow Lancaster and Lockport for a game well-played.
---Mary Jo Monnin
(Photo of Lockport's Emma Sobieraski and Lancaster's Katie Healy by Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News)
taggedBasketball | Lancaster | Lockport