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Eden gets quarterfinal rematch with Olean; Immaculata handles NFL large schools

Erin Dix and Eden are on to a quarterfinal at Olean after beating Burgard in an opening round Class B-1 playoff game on Tuesday (Feb. 19).
Eden will get a shot at a playoff rematch with Olean in the Class B-1 quarterfinals on Saturday, Feb. 23.

But avenging last year’s loss doesn’t exactly have much significance to this year’s group. With many new players to the lineup from last year and others who didn’t play major roles in that playoff game, Eden doesn’t have that long of a memory. The eighth-seed is simply looking to challenge the top seed in the bracket.

Last year, coming off a sectional title, the Raiders were upset in their own gym by Olean. This time, they’ll go into the game on the road as an underdog after beating ninth-seeded Burgard 40-27 on Tuesday (Feb. 19).

“Because many of them are so new, they don’t really understand that Olean beat us last year and upset us,” said Eden head coach Marisa Fallacaro, who went to scout Olean. “They are a phenomenal team.”

She’s relying on her soccer athletes to pave the way for Eden basketball. The soccer team began as a No. 9 seed in the playoffs and pulled a few upsets to reach the sectional finals in the fall. Among those soccer players are seniors Hanna Zittel and Emily Carias and junior Katie Campbell.

“The soccer team did this, winning their first game and then knocking off the No. 1 team,” Fallacaro said. “Any given day, their girls could be off, too. If I can get Hanna, Emily and Katie on and then get some post play, it could be a good game. I hope we just don’t lie down and I don’t think we will. It’s not our M.O.”

Zittel, who’s been so good defensively all season, finished with four steals against Burgard, while Campbell stepped up with five steals and 11 points, including hitting a pair of three-pointers in the same win. Carias, the team’s most experienced player, will run the point in her third season as a varsity contributor.

Senior forward Erin Dix stepped up with eight points, six rebounds and two steals on Tuesday, while being very active on the floor, which her coach was happy to see. Sophomore McKenzie Biastre also enjoyed a solid game offensively with nine points.

Eden will get a boost in close to the basket against a tall Olean team with the return of sophomore Sabrina Kraska, who adds eight points and eight rebounds a game for Eden. She missed the Burgard game after sustaining an injury last week.

Elsewhere, Frontier will begin playoff action, hosting a pre-quarterfinal against 10th-seeded Clarence n Thursday, Feb. 21. A win would send the Falcons to second-0seeded Lockport on Tuesday (Feb. 26) night in a quarterfinal rematch from last season, won by the Lions.

That same day, ninth-seeded North Collins plays at No. 8 Forestville with the victor playing Saturday (Feb. 23) at top-seeded Clymer in the quarterfinals.

Hamburg, the top seed in Class A-1 after a 17-1 regular season, won’t start postseason play until Saturday, Feb. 23 in a quarterfinal with No. 8 Sweet Home. A win would send the defending sectional finalist Bulldogs to Clarence for semifinals on Wednesday, Feb. 27.

Bears basketball beats Wheatfield, Falls

Immaculata’s varsity basketball team pulled off a sweep of Niagara Frontier League large schools Niagara-Wheatfield and Niagara Falls in consecutive games over a four-day span. After defeating Wheatfield 67-54 on Friday (Feb. 15), Immaculata polished off the Falls 65-57 on Monday.

Against Wheatfield, Immaculata jumped out to a 20-7 first quarter lead and never surrendered the advantage. Senior guard Taylor Heinold continued her torrid pace, scoring 27 points, while her freshman sister, Jordan Heinold, added 15 and senior Kathryn Halloran contributed 10. Against Niagara Falls, Taylor Heinold erupted for 34 points, while Jordan Heinold notched 14 and junior RayAnn Call recorded nine.

Immaculata will finish its season hosting Nichols on Friday, Feb. 22 at 6:30 p.m. and then the Bears should go from missing out on the state independent schools tournament last year to being one of the competition’s top seeds. Bids to the tournament in New York City will be announced after the regular season.


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