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Eden girls hoops set up for showdown Friday

Eden went on the road to beat an up-and-coming Cleveland Hill on Jan. 17, and got a little help from Holland the same night, to set up a potential first-place showdown in Erie County Interscholastic Conference IV, later this week.

With the Raiders’ 44 – 39 win and Tonawanda’s loss to Holland, it knots the two atop the division with one loss each. Tonawanda is slated to play at Eden on Jan. 24. Eden is 3 – 1 and Tonawanda, 5 – 1.

“It does set-up a nice matchup Friday,” confirmed Eden head coach Marisa Fallacaro, who wasn’t looking past playing at winless Lackawanna on Jan. 21. “I like our division, because there’s no clear-cut front-runner. There’s a lot of talent with teams like us, Tonawanda, Holland and Cleve Hill. I’m just hoping we’ve started to believe.”

During the first half at Cleve Hill, Eden stormed out of the gate, breaking its opponent’s press and through a 1 – 3 – 1 zone, to get the ball to its bigs. Eden junior transfer Lindsay Gearhart finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds, while Katie Campbell continued her torrid offense with 10 points. After nailing four 3-pointers in a win at Alden the game prior, she drove for many of her points Friday.

“Lindsey has been a great addition and I still don’t think we’ve seen the best of her yet,” Fallacaro said, about the junior averaging about a double-double.

Also in the win, junior Kailee Ballou added 7 points and 6 rebounds and sophomore Brittny Gates notched 6 points and 6 rebounds, coming off the bench at forward. Sabrina Kraska also had 9 rebounds and Callie Abram 7. Despite some poor shooting and sloppy play in the second half, Eden held on.

Defending ECIC II champion Tonawanda won the first game with Eden 45 – 30, on Dec. 17. The Warriors have given Eden fits the past two seasons, playing a 2 – 3 zone. Fallacaro said she aims to have her team protect the ball, knock down outside shots and benefit from what she hopes is a large crowd.

“Tonawanda lulls us to sleep and we get lazy with our passes,” she said. “We’ve worked on moving the ball and getting our guards up front. We’ve got to remember that we can’t get it to our bigs like we want to without moving their defense.”

Also locally, led by 18 points from Kendra Quinn-Moultrie, Hamburg nearly came from behind to upset WNY-power Cardinal O’Hara, but fell short, 62 – 57. The Bulldogs crept back into the game, after trailing 23 – 10. Also for Hamburg, Leah Jones scored 13 and Ashley Kabza added 12. In the game prior, 5 – 4 Hamburg snapped a three-game slide with a 50 – 41 win against Sweet Home on Jan. 10. Jordan Smith and Quinn-Moultire scored 11 points each.

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