HONEOYE FALLS — The Dansville girls basketball team erased some hard memories of last year's Sectional semifinal overtime loss to Bath on Tuesday (Feb. 26) night as they visited HFL in this year's B2 semis. This time around it was a different story, but it was still "a battle!"
The Lady Mustangs faced a physical and defense-oriented Waterloo team from the Fingle Lakes and had to fight for everything they would get. Dansville put on a key 10-0 run to start the 2nd quarter which would hold up in the end as coach Kristen Moose's club advanced to the finals with a 49-36 win.
With nothing to lose, Waterloo came out and grabbed the early lead in the game as the Indians led 7-2 about 5 minutes in as Dansville couldn't get on track offensively. The Mustangs finally put it in gear in the final 2:30 minutes of the quarter outscoring, the orange & black 12-1 as the opening 8 minutes of play came to a close with the Mustangs sporting a 14-8 lead.
A Ray Young free throw followed by a Grace Rittenhouse 3 got things cooking. Young, Rittenhouse and Hannah LaPlant would have multiple buckets down the stretch giving the Livingston County crew a lead of a half-dozen.
Dansville didn't stop there, opening the 2nd quarter on a 10-0 run.
So let's figure this turnaround up ... from 2:30 left of the first quarter, and the first 4 minutes of the second, the Mustangs outscored Waterloo 22-1 in that 6:30 time frame! Dansville would take a 29-16 lead in at the half, anticipating Waterloo to make a second half run.
Midway into the 3rd period the Mustangs would pump the lead up to 41-23 with 4 minutes left in the quarter. Waterloo did a fine job of limiting Dansville to just one shot throughout much of the second half. As they did, they also managed to inch closer. The Indians whittled the lead down to as few as 9 (45-36) with 3:43 left in the game. That's as close as the Indians would get, as time was on Dansville's side and the Mustangs improved to 21-0 with a 49-36 victory to take a step beyond last year as they earned a date with No. 2 Wellsville in the finals on Friday night (Mar. 1) as the Lions roared past Attica in their semifinal clash, 60-46.
Dansville (21-0) was led by Grace Rittenhouse with 16 points 1 rebound and 1 steal. Hannah LaPlant had 11 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals. Arayana Young added a double-double with 10 points 14 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 3 blocks.
Jackie Blechinger chipped in with 8 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals and 3 blocks. Madison Akers added 4 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and one steal.
Dansville (21-0) goes against Wellsville (16-5) in the Section V, Class B2 title game in Caledonia at 6 p.m. It’s the No. 1 and the No. 2, and it shapes up to be a real "barn burner!”
Pick up The Sunday Spectator and next week's Express for photos and the full recap.