Immaculata senior Taylor Heinold earned MVP at the recent H.S. senior all-star classic in Cheektowaga.
The stars came out one last time at Cheektowaga Central High School as the best basketball players in Western New York participated in the Cheektowaga Lions 15th Annual Senior High School Ladies Basketball Classic on March 23.
The girls were separated into four teams for two games in one night, with an MVP selected from each team, along with a scholarship winner from their respective schools, which are awarded by the Cheektowaga Lions and Fr. Justin Council Knights of Columbus.
In the second game, the Lions beat the Knights 83-67 behind the performance of Most Valuable Player Taylor Heinold of Immaculata, who led all scorers with 24 points. Pearl Guerin (Nichols) added 19. The Knights were led by Hannah Rehbaumís (Sacred Heart) 14 points, and team MVP Rachel Pawlakís (Niagara Wheatfield) 13. Emily Carias of Eden nailed a three in a losing effort.
The first game found the Lionesses overcoming an early 15-point deficit to defeat the Justinettes 88-75. Robert Morris-bound Cassie Oursler (Grand Island) led all scorers with 32 points for the Lionesses, followed by team MVP LaíTrice Hall (Sacred Heart) with 23. Justinettes MVP Alexis Cheatham led her team with 24 points. Miranda Aikin of Lake Shore hit an early bucket to help the Justinettes build an early lead. Edenís Marisa Fallacaro helped coach the Justinettes.
The basketball classic brought together girls from all over the area, allowing them to practice with each other over a two-week span and even inviting them to a dinner, which helped create a team camaraderie.
ďI didnít really know any of the girls before this,Ē said Heinold. ďBut from the practices and stuff we did together, we got to know each other and I thought that was really fun.Ē