Battle to the end

For the Dunkirk Lady Marauders, it was quite a different game from the team’s 55-35 victory over the Fredonia Lady Hillbillies in December, but what really mattered to the team was that it was the same result.

The Lady Marauders had a tough time handling the young Fredonia team as Dunkirk pulled away in the final minutes to secure the 47-38 win in CCAA Division 1 action Monday.

“We have four seniors on this team that set goals before the season,” Dunkirk coach Sarah Bogardus said. “One of those goals was to beat Fredonia twice this season. That is a hard thing to do, especially on their home court. There is no better way for our seniors to end this rivalry than the way they did.”

Throughout the first half, it was a back-and-forth game with Fredonia as it took advantage through the first quarter as it lead 12-11 through eight minutes.

Pacing the Lady Hillbillies to the hot start was Morgan Genovese who scored eight of her team-high 17 points in the first quarter.

“We are getting better each game,” Fredonia coach Carol Zirkle said. “We are able to transfer the things we are doing in practice to game play. We have a bunch of sophomores that are getting better and learning how to compete.”

Dunkirk got a boost from one of its leaders as well as Lacey Clark scored 15 of her game-high 29 points in the first half as the rest of the Lady Marauders had a difficult time scoring before halftime.

“Lacey had a monster game,” Bogardus said. “She kept us in the game in the first half. She kept the flow of the game going at both ends with her scoring and rebounding.”

Clark also finished with 19 boards in one of the best performances of her career.

The Lady Hillbillies found themselves in foul trouble early on.

However, the home team was able to sustain the large amount of free throws they gave up because Dunkirk was a dismal 8-for-18 from the charity stripe in the first half.

“I was happy that we were aggressive going to the hoop and were able to get to the free throw line,” Bogardus said. “But we definitely kept it interesting by missing 19 foul shots. I think we were just letting our emotions get the best of us when we were on the line.”

See DIVISION 1, Page B2

Things didn’t get better for Dunkirk in the second half in the free-throw department as the Lady Marauders finished 15-for-34 from the line.

“We did a great job on the offensive boards,” Bogardus said. “We were very aggressive and had a bunch of second- and third-shot chances. I think that was really the difference for us.”

After a 22-all halftime score, the Lady Hillbillies jumped out on a 5-2 run to open the third quarter.

However, Fredonia went on a scoring drought for almost seven minutes before hitting two free throws in the closing seconds of the period.

“We played significantly better than we did in the first matchup with Dunkirk,” Zirkle said. “Sarah Cruver and Frankie Sysol did a good job defending Khee Nance. They kept her to just nine points in the first three quarters.”

Dunkirk carried a 33-29 into the final quarter and was able to use the experience of four seniors to close out the game down the stretch.

“We played hard and kept fighting,” Zirkle said. “We need to learn how to close in the fourth quarter. We had key possessions where we weren’t able to convert. When you turn the ball over in a close game like that, it is like a four-point swing in the other direction.”

The Lady Marauders outscored their opponent 14-9 in the fourth quarter to secure a victory over their rival for the second time this season.

“A big difference in the second half for us was the pressure Joyce Bomasuto and Dimary Maisonet put on Fredonia on defense,” Bogardus said. “They were able to create a lot of turnovers for us. All around, our seniors played great.”

Nance finished with 13 points and five rebounds in the win while Maisonet had four rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Maddy Crandall had one of her best games of the season for the Lady Hillbillies with seven points while Cruver had five points and six boards.

Next up for Dunkirk is a date with Falconer on Thursday at home. Fredonia will hit the road to play Allegany-Limestone on Thursday.