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Lady Bulldogs Finding Balance

By Dave Ricci

Four girls hit double-figures as the Kenmore East Lady Bulldogs cruised to a 63-28 win over Lewiston-Porter in Niagara Frontier League girls’ basketball action that was played at Kenmore East High School on Friday.

Led by sophomore Carianne McCarthy, who scored 14 points and was named the Player of the Game, the Bulldogs improved to 10-0 in league play.

The Lady Lancers played tough as they hung with Ken-East throughout the first quarter, even taking the lead a couple times thanks to the play of Lexi Lindamer who had all six of her points in the opening frame.

A buzzer-beating 3-pointer by McCarthy gave Ken-East the 17-13 lead after the first quarter and started the wheels in motion for the Bulldogs to pull away on the scoreboard. While the Bulldogs 1-2 punch of senior Kendall Mills and junior Serena Sordetto who had 16 points apiece, was key what head coach Jack Blanch liked most of all was that this game was another example of other players rising to the occasion.

Along with McCarthy, Lexi Lagattuta, Sarah Burhans and Katia Weeks have all raised their game in recent weeks. Giving the Bulldogs that much needed depth that Blanch felt had been lacking at the start of the season for various reasons.

“There’s no question,” Blanch said. “We started out the year, really, playing five. Now we can play eight, getting close to nine. It’s just nice to look at the bench and say I can put this person in or that person in without even worrying about it.”

Lagattuta, who sank 13 points, feels that as the season has gone on they have become a more complete team. Lagattuta said that while the Bulldogs didn’t want to run the score up on the Lew-Port they knew they couldn’t pull back and risk bad habits creeping into their game. “When we took the lead I think we knew we were going to keep it, but we didn’t want to tell ourselves that,” said Lagattuta.

Lauren McCrath has 12 points to lead Lew-Port, which is now 5-4 in the NFL. Mills was once again the subplot as she came into the game needing 18 points to pass her older sister Kacie Mills for third place on the Ken-East girls’ all-time scoring chart.

Kacie, who graduated in 2006, has 1,169 career points behind Maria Atti 1,334 and Joelle Pollak 1,549.

The Lancers threw multiple double and triple team defensive schemes at Kendall in an attempt to stop her. To the Lancers credit they managed to keep Kendall off the board in the first quarter, but Kendall would storm back with 11 in the second to pull within a reasonable reach of the goal of passing Kacie. Kendall hit a couple of quick buckets early in the third quarter to pull within three points of officially moving into third place, but her shots stopped falling. Blanch pulled Mills out a few times to give her a breather and focus, and even though Kendall was getting some quality looks she couldn’t clear that hurdle.

Ironically, it was at Lew-Port that Kendall reached the 1,000 point mark.

Kendall’s final point came at the line when she sank 1 of 2 with 2.6 seconds to play. Kendall Mills now has 1,167 points. Her next attempt to pass her sister will come on Wednesday at Williamsville-East.

“Lew-Port played great, especially in the first quarter,” Blanch said. “The girls did wake up…Kendall will get there.”

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