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Billies continue Class A dominance in Girls Hoops

The Williamsville South Billies answered a lot of critics Wednesday night by winning another Section VI Class A overall title.

Just days after taking the Class A-1 title, the Billies defeated a favored Hamburg Bulldogs team 80-75 at Buffalo State College.

This was supposed to be the year that Williamsville South tailed off. After regular season losses to Sweet Home (twice) and Iroquois, there was talk of other Class A teams finally having a chance to shine.

Unfortunately, the Lady Billies didn’t get the message.

Gretchen Dolan scored a team-high 52 points to lead Williamsville South to another berth in the Far West Regionals.

“She’s been asked to do a lot,” Kristen Dolan said. “Gretchen has the experience having played here in these games before and she was aware of what she would have to do. I thought she played well defensively too. Her teammates compliment her very well.”

Gretchen Dolan was phenomenal. The junior was 15-of-18 from the free throw line and nailed 5 three-pointers. She really got into a groove in the second half scoring 38 of her 52 points.

“I’m so proud of all these girls, we really worked hard to get here,” Gretchen Dolan said. “It was our goal to get here. This is a great feeling”

Clara Strack was equally as dominant on the offensive side for Hamburg. Strack poured in 43 points for the Bulldogs. She committed 4 fouls in the first half.

Down low, the Billies didn’t have much of an answer. Her teammate Madelyn Harrison found herself in foul trouble as well. The two started the 2nd half with a combined 6 fouls.

Coming out of the half Hamburg quickly erased a six-point Williamsville South lead and took the lead – in large part due to Strack’s relentlessness. Even with the four fouls, Strack continued to play aggressively at both ends of the floor, her tenacity gave Hamburg a chance.

Harrison finished with 17 points and did a good job rebounding all evening. Maddie Hoak chipped in 16 for the Bulldogs.

For as much trouble as Strack presented for the Billies, Dolan simply put, could not be stopped.

South as a team played very well on defense when they needed to. They took advantage of Hamburg’s Strack and Harrison being in foul trouble and on the bench late in the third quarter, going with a full-court press. It worked to perfection. In a 2-minute span, Will South scored eight points, seized momentum and reclaimed the lead.

“We really didn’t know what we had this season,” coach Dolan said. “The coaches had to really figure some things out. We told the kids just come out to practice and work hard. We have things to work on but we will figure this out. If you’re willing to work good things happen. I just love being in the gym with them.”

With the win, Williamsville South will head to Rush-Henrietta to take on Pittsford Mendon (Section V) in the Far West Regional.

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