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H.S. Girls Basketball: Eden looks to get back into form with Tonawanda looming

Emily Carias and Eden will be tested early when they take on Tonawanda on Thursday (Dec. 20). The two teams shard the ECIC IV Division title last year. (File photo courtesy of Ron Larson)

Eden approaches an early-season division showdown with Tonawanda realizing that it cannot try to coast through a game as it did on Monday (Dec. 17) at Lackawanna.

The Raiders escaped the ECIC IV game with a 43-38 win, but head coach Marisa Fallacaro warned her team not to come in to any game too cocky. Eden was able to win very comfortably over Cleveland Hill three days earlier, so Fallacaro suspects that may have made her team a bit overconfident.

She liked the way the Raiders defense played as it forced 23 turnovers, but when Lackawanna was able to set up in the half court, the Steelers dominated on the boards and scored 30 of their points in the paint off of drives or put backs. Eden also made only 16 of 69 shots.

The Raiders did get impressive performances from Hanna Zittel, who finished with 10 points, three steals and two assists, and sophomore Mackenzie Biastre, who recorded 11 points and five steals. Emily Carias led the team with 12 points and five steals.

It was a much different story during the Cleveland Hill game, in which Fallacaro left believing her team played with precision in its shooting and rebounding and looked like an experienced group. Carias was dominant with 16 points, four steals and three assists. Biastre added 15 points and four steals; sophomore Sabrina Kraska, 12 points and eight rebounds; and Zittel, six points and three steals.

Fallacaro believes that type of performance will be needed for Eden to contend with Tonawanda at home on Thursday, Dec. 20 and for the rest of the season to stay in contention for an ECIC IV title. The two teams shared the division title last season.

“Having come off a nice 60-33 win Friday I believe my team felt we would be able to do the same to Lackawanna. And as many of us know at any given time anyone can win,” said Fallacaro, whose team improved to 2-0 in ECIC IV action and 3-2 overall. “The girls know that in order to win against Tonawanda or be competitive in division they need to pick it up.”
Grace Coughlin drives to the net during a recent game for Immaculata, which has started the season 3-3. (Photo courtesy of Ron Larson)

Elsewhere, Immaculata evened its record at 3-3 with an 80-20 win over Oracle on Dec. 15. With Bears’ starters playing only a limited time, senior Taylor Heinold led the team with 18 points. Grace Coughlin added 12 points and Karah Burlough, eight.

The Bears have mixed three lopsided victories with three close losses, by seven points or less, to start the 2012-13 season. Included in that was a 53-48 loss to Holy Angels, which was carried by 39 points from its senior standout Jontay Walton.

Freshman Jordan Heinold, recorded 16 points and 11 boards in a losing effort, while her big sister, Taylor Heinold, was held to nine points with her minutes reduced due to early foul trouble. Immaculata led 27-18 going into halftime and held a three-point advantage with five minutes to go, but Walton scored 17 of her points in the final quarter, including the 1,000th in her career, to lead Holy Angels to the win.

Immaculata also lost some tight ones, 53-47 to Mount St. Mary’s and 45-38 to Aquinas of Rochester. Senior Kathryn Halloran finished with 17 points in the Bears’ loss to Mt. St. Mary's and also had nine in a 62-34 win over Christian Central. Taylor Heinold scored 22 points and Ray Ann Call added 10 in a 52-14 win over Niagara Catholic. Taylor Heinold is averaging 17 points per game, is only 66 away from 1,000 in her high school career.

Also, Lake Shore extended its win streak to three games, earning a victory in its ECIC Division III opener, 38-22 over Amherst on Dec. 11. The Eagles outscored the Tigers 22-10 in the first half and never looked back.

Sophomore standout Melanie Linsmair led all scorers with 18 points, to go along with six steals and six rebounds. The Tigers struggled against the Eagles’ full-court man-to-man pressure in the third quarter, which was led by the efforts of Miranda Aikin, Josilyn Benton and Linsmair. Aikin and Darian Evans each netted six points for the Eagles, while Benton added four. Lindsey Gearhart and Michaela Stepniak chipped in two points each.

Hamburg passed an early test in ECIC II, holding on to beat an Iroquois team that returned many of its players from a team that challenged the Bulldogs for the division title last season.

In Hamburg’s 42-39 win over Iroquois on Dec. 17, senior forward Taylor Wolf led the way again with 15 points. She was fresh off a big late-game performance in a non-league win over Frontier. Also for the Bulldogs, junior Kendra Quinn-Moultrie added 11 points and fellow forward Jordan Smith, a sophomore, contributed seven points. Hamburg improved to 3-0 overall with the win in its division opener.

Frontier bounced back from that loss to Hamburg in its season opener to defeat West Seneca West 66-27 on Dec. 13.

In its first game of the ECIC I season, the Falcons were led by senior forward Natalie Galus, who erupted for 23 points. Kaitlyn Lipka added 12 points for an offense that featured 10 players scoring.


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