Mustangs take D1, Indians D3
DANSVILLE — Wednesday night's match-up between Dansville and Livionia was billed as a "Division I Dandy.” The game certainly lived up that right down to the final seconds. In a game of streaks, the Lady Mustangs had the edge in a topsey-turvey tussle with Livonia at "the Corral" as a piece of the D-1 title laid in the balance. If Dansville won, they would claim the top spot outright. If Livonia won, somebody would "share" the title.
Strangely enough, a couple of weeks prior, the Mustangs would win the initial meeting as Livonia skipper Karen Schuster was hoping her Bulldogs could pay back the favor in Dansville. In a game in which momentum didn't know who's side to take, Dansville came from a deficit of a dozen early in the 4th quarter to overtake Livonia in the final seconds for a stunning 52-49 victory, giving the Mustangs the D-1 crown outright.
Dansville had hoped to have everybody back healthy for this contest. However, that philosophy took an immediate turn for the worse when Jenna George re-aggravated her nagging knee injury during warm-ups and would have to sit out the night.
Dansville started the game in fine fashion with an 11-2 lead about 4 minutes in. Approximately 2 minutes later the Mustangs held a 15-4 advantage as Sidney Stone had 8 first quarter points for the red & black.
In the final 2 minutes of the first, the Bulldogs went on an 11-0 run that would tie the game at the onset of the 2nd at 15-15. Coach Karen Shuster's team had 4 different players score in the run that put the Bulldogs right back in the hunt. Dansville then went on an 8-1 spurt taking a 23-16 lead with 3:05 left in the half. Livonia wouldn't let go though, as Tatum Smith's 3-pointer in the final minute of the half put the orange & blue within 2 at the break 24-22.
Momentum took a huge turn during halftime. Livonia came out and Kelsey Stewart buried an immediate 3-pointer that gave Livonia their first lead of the game 25-24. Stewart would hit another along with a field goal, and her excitement was contagious as Tatum Smith stepped in and nailed a pair from downtown in a 15-2 run that put Livonia in front by a dozen 42-30. The pesky Bulldogs would outscore Dansville 20-8 in the 3rd taking a double-digit lead into the final period of play.
The Mustangs very patiently managed to sneak closer.
Following a Brielle Caruso free throw with 2:17 left it was now a 4-point game (47-43). With just inside a minute to play Dansville missed a pair of free throws, but Hannah LaPlant got an offensive rebound off the second shot and banked one in with 1:15 left making it a 47-45 game. Sydney Lockwood raced down the left side of the floor and got one go for Livonia making it a 49-45 game.
Madison Lee was fouled with :56 left and hit 1 of 2 making in a 49-46 game. Lee, just off the concussion protocol, would be the recipient of a nice pass off of a Mustang steal by Hannah LaPlant. The sophomore got it up on the window and turned it into a 1-point game at 49-48 with :27 showing on the timer.
The Dansville defense was key as they tipped a ball that would result in a traveling violation on the Bulldogs. The Mustangs would have it in the forecourt with :18 left. The Bulldogs were also tough on defense as well. Dansville worked the ball around and with :04 remaining, Grace Rittenhouse hit the Mustangs only 3-pointer of the night.
What a time for it to come! The Dansville crowd erupted in a frenzy when the shot hit nothing but net giving the red & black their first lead in the 2nd half at 51-49!
Livonia had :04 left to get a final shot off. The defensive anticipation of Hannah LaPlant resulted in a steal on which she was fouled intentionally with :01 left. She would hit one of two and then the celebration began as Dansville would claim the Livingston County Division 1 title outright with a heart-stopping 52-49 victory coming from a dozen down in the 4th period to shock Livonia!
The Mustangs would finish the game in much the same way they started. Dansville would outscore Livonia 21-7 over final 8 minutes to emerge triumphant.
Rittenhouse finished with five points, two rebounds, four steals and two assists. Arayana Young led the way with a double-double of 14 points, 11 rebounds, four steals and three blocks. Sidney Stone added 10 points and four rebounds in the win.
Hannah LaPlant posted 7 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals and 7 assists. Madi Lee had 7 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 assists. Brielle Caruso had 7 points with 4 rebounds and an assist.
Dansville (16-2) closes out their season with a road game in Hornell on Valentine's night (Feb. 14), and then finish the regular season at home on Tuesday (Feb. 18) against Letchworth.
Livonia (15-3) hits the road Friday night as well when the Bulldogs head to Leroy, and then finish up with a home game against Avon on Tuesday evening.
Keshequa wins D-III title in overtime
YORK — There were a multitude of momentum shifts on Wednesday night as Keshequa and York clashed. The teams took turns winning quarters, until Keshequa hit some key 3-pointers to force overtime where the Indians free-throw shooting would key a 56-48 win over the Golden Knights giving coach Pete Piraino's team the Livingston County Division III Championship.
Coach Kaitlin Kolb's group grabbed the early lead 20-9 after the opening 8 minutes of play. Keshequa skipper Pete Piraino reminded his team about defense. They would hold the purple & gold to just seven points in the 2nd, as the Indians got right back in it with York holding a 27-23 lead at halftime.
York got the momentum back & doubled-up Keshequa in a low-scoring 3rd with the Golden Knights garnishing a 35-27 lead heading into the 4th quarter. Senior sharp-shooter Macy Boss fired home a pair of huge 3-pointers that brought Keshequa back to tie the game at 43-43 at the end of regulation. Boss hit another from downtown in the extra session, while Emily Weaver hit four clutch free-throws keying Keshequa's 56-48 victory which also brought hem the D-3 title.
Keshequa (17-2) was led by Paige McKerrow's 14 points, 5 assists and 4 steals. Macy Boss hit 4 three's and finished with 12 points. Emily Weaver had 11 with 3 steals. Paige Burley scored 10 with 7 rebounds as the Indians put 4 players in double-figures. Also for the Indians Faith Wood had 6 points and 3 rebounds. Megan Guy had 3 points, and Julie Wilkins had one steal in the victory.
Keshequa finishes up the regular season Friday night at home against Pavilion.
York (10-8) was led by Katelyn Curry's 12 points, Ciara Smith scored 9, Sydnee Emerson and Adison Plant each added 8.