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Lady Warriors Aiming For Return Trip to Buff State

When asked what the realistic goal for this season was Tonawanda Lady Warriors coach Jay Hall picked up the team’s schedule and pointed to March 5, the date of the Section VI Class B finals at Buffalo State College.

“You see our schedule?” Hall asked. “You see where it stops? The sectional finals, that’s our goal.”

Winning the 2014 Section VI Class B title on the floor of the Buff State Sports Arena with a team that was led by Alanna Herne, Kalyn Compeau and Savanna Baughman, the Warriors returned to Buff State the following year with a team led by Paige Hill and Haley Snyder. Though that group was unable to repeat as sectional champions there were a core of sophomores who, now in their senior year, experienced the ride to the sectional finals. A ride that has created a hunger to get back to Buff State.

“Some of the seniors were on that team as young kids. We pulled them up when we went to Buff State,” Hall said.

“So this is their last hurrah and they want to go back.”

Seniors Haley Schoelerman (center/forward), Ashley Adams (guard), Sydney Taylor (G) and Alicia Farrell (F) were all sophomores who contributed to the last Lady Warriors team that got to the sectional finals. Farrell was also a late season call-up to the sectional title team and Schoelerman was a starter and key piece of that championship puzzle.

While last year’s team played hard, they weren’t always on the same page when it came to on court execution.

Schoelerman said this year is a different story as every girl has a team-first approach. Individual stats are on the back burner. The greater good of the team is all that matters when they walk into the gym.

“I think it’s everybody’s goal to work as a team,” Schoelerman said.

Hall agreed.

“A lot now,” Hall said. “If they get the ball into Haley and she’ll kick it out if she doesn’t have a shot. So I think it shows a lot. They’re really unselfish this year.”

A guard-heavy team, the Lady Warriors will rely heavily on the speed of Adams and Taylor, as well as juniors Taylor Hollock and Hope Balling.

Though Tonawanda isn’t the tallest team across the board, they do have an interesting balance in its top five. With the 6-foot-1 Schoelerman at center, 5-foot-9 Alicia Farrell at power forward and any combo of Taylor, Balling, Adams and Hollock in a three-guard offense the Lady Warriors should be able to use a mix of speed, power and size to create offense while still being quick enough to get back on defense.

“Yeah absolutely. All of our guards are pretty tough, too.” Schoelerman said. “They can scrap down low and get the rebounds if they need to.”

The Lady Warriors roster also includes seniors Caitlyn Vishion, Elisa Heldarshard, Samantha Kurdziel and juniors Samantha Farrell, Breanna Zientara and Melyssa Oddo.

The Class B Lady Warriors will host AA Kenmore West on Nov.23 in their annual scrimmage game that has proven to be beneficial for both programs as it gives both teams a strong test right out of the gate. The Warriors will open on the road at Akron on Nov.30.

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