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In Battle of Ken-Ton – Lady Bulldogs Clinch NFL

The first goal was accomplished and they defeated their rival in the process. Three girls scored double digits as Kenmore East handed Kenmore West a 42-20 loss in the girls’ game of the Battle of Ken-Ton basketball double header that was played at Kenmore West High School, Friday night. With the victory the Lady Bulldogs improved to 13-0 in the Niagara Frontier League and clinch their first league title since 2009-10. “We had this goal since the start of the season. We knew we wanted to be NFL champions. We pushed each other in practice every day,” said junior Serena Sordetto. “We really prepared ourselves well for this game. We just finally did it. It’s a sigh of relief (winning the league). We knew we could do it and just getting to that goal really makes us confident for playoffs.” The Bulldogs win officially ended the Blue Devils reign as back-to-back NFL champs. Ironically, it was a Ken-East win over Lockport that helped Ken-West clinch the NFL title last season. The Lady Bulldogs did it with a spread the ball offense as Kendall Mills (15 points), Carianne McCarthy (10) and Sordetto (10) all scored in double figures. But it was Sarah Burhans who hit arguably the most important shot of the game as her 3-point shot set the tone for a 16-0 Ken-East run that the Blue Devils simply could not recover from. Coming off of a league win against North Tonawanda on Tuesday, the Lady Bulldogs were not satisfied as everyone felt their overall effort and execution should have been better. So a fast start was top of the list for the ‘Dogs when going over the keys to the game. “Our goal to starting out this game was we wanted to come out strong,” Sordetto said. “We weren’t doing that in games past and I think we went on a really great run and moved the ball well. We started off the first quarter great which was our goal.” Ken-West received a momentary shot in the arm when Anna Quinlan drained a three just before the buzzer ending the first quarter, but energy from that moment didn’t have enough carry over to pull Ken-West back into the game. The Lady Blue Devils, for the most part, worked hard. But the more Ken-East added to it’s lead the harder the Blue Devils tried to come back. Which led to a series of mental errors, rushed passes and shots that were just off the mark. The Bulldogs man defense also good job of disrupting the Blue Devils offensive game plan. “You’re at the end of the year you’re trying to get ready for playoffs. You gotta clean things up,” Ken-East coach Jack Blanch said. “I’m real happy for them. They did a nice job.” Hoping to get back on the winning track on Tuesday when they close out the NFL season at Niagara-Wheatfield the Blue Devils said the loss to Ken-East was certainly disappointing, but they can’t let is be disheartening. “Well obviously it’s really hard. It’s a our second East/West game and we did lose,” said Ken-West senior captain Rachel Sefried. “But it’s all a learning experience for us and after coming off of two seasons of being co-champions of the NFL it is very discouraging. But every single game we learn something new. And we go back to practice and we focus on it and we try to strengthen it. The next game it may not come out the way we want it to, but it’s just all learning and I think it’s really beneficial for the younger girls.” Sefried added that this loss, and the struggles of dealing with injuries and other road blocks, is a test of the team’s character. “In our program we definitely stress character and family,” she said.

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