Depew Closes The Bank And Reaches Sectional Title Game
It’s been a long journey for the Depew High School girls basketball team’s 10-player senior class, which has matured from also-rans to contenders to the top-seed in Class B-1. And the Wildcats seemed destined to play at Buffalo State College for the first time in program history an upset-minded foe and its backboard forced Depew to Sweat it out.
Hard-charging No. 12-seed Charter School for Applied Technologies found the right spot on the backboard on its’ furious comeback try, banking home three long-range 3-pointers in the game’s last five minutes but the senior-heavy Wildcats showed their veteran poise and posted a 60-45 win in a semifinal at Sweet Home High School on Thursday night.
“It was crazy,” Depew senior center Tess Borgosz said. “I said to Bre (Dotterweich) ‘Dude, let’s stop letting them hit the banks, let’s close the banks.’ But we ended up pulling out a win and that was our mission.”
The Wildcats have now won 11 straight games, a run that includes victories over perennial powers East Aurora and Lake Shore. The lone loss in 2017 was a respectable six-point defeat on the road to Class AA top-seed Clarence – since then, no opponent has come closer than eight points against Depew.
“It’s just confidence,” Clark said. “We believe in each other as a team and we’re going to work hard and hustle. We’re going to work hard as a team to do what we need to do.”
The top-seed Wildcats will play Fredonia at 4 p.m. Sunday at Buffalo State in the Class B-2 title tilt. The Hillbillies advanced with a 34-28 win over East Aurora in Thursday’s other semi.
While Depew is looking for its first Section Vi championship since winning back-to-back in 1999 and 2000, Clark has already played at Buff State, leading Cleveland Hill to the 2015 Class B-2 title. She transferred to Depew for her junior year, joining an already-loaded Class of 2017 that has put the Wildcats back on the girls basketball map.
In the semis, Clark scored a game-best 20 points and dished out 12 assists. Borgosz tossed in 19 points and grabbed 26 rebounds. Brittany Bobeck added eight points and 12 boards and Dotterweich also netted eight points for Depew.
Depew took the lead in the opening minute and never relinquished that advantage – but the Eagles sure didn’t go quietly. The Wildcats led by as many as 17 in the second half but junior Rashanik Hendricks banked home a pair of long-range treys, Kiara King used the glass for another, and the Eagles closed within seven midway through the fourth. But the veteran Wildcats had an answer – including a nothing but net 3-pointer by Clark that sealed the deal with less than two minutes left to end the Cinderella run by CSAT, which had previously knocked off fifth-seeded Alden and fourth-seeded I-Prep.
“They’re a good team,” Depew coach Charlie Guay said. “We knew what they’re all about. They’re aggressive, they rebound and they’re a good team. They’re not a 12-seed (caliber) team, they’re a good team.”
In the first game of Thursday’s action, six-seed Fredonia used a tremendous defensive performance to knock off No. 2 seed East Aurora. The Hillbillies scored the game’s first 10 points, only to watch EA reply with a 10-0 run of its own. Katie Price propelled a 9-0 to put Fredonia in command. EA rallied to tie the game on two occasions in the fourth quarter but never took the lead.
This has been our goal all season,” Fredonia coach Carol Zirkle said. “We had a team retreal and we set our goals and one one of oir goals was to get there and take care of busesses. We taled about where we’re going to be and how we were going to get there and our focus was defense.”
Hannah Cybart scored 10 points for Fredonia, while Katie Price and Caitlin Cybart added eight for the Hillbillies