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Lady Wildcats Extend Winning Streak to 8

The Depew Lady Wildcats (8-1) started off the season falling to Lancaster on Dec. 10. Since then they have piled up win after win as their season is almost at the midway point.

Last night, the defending Section VI Class B-1 champions travelled to Pioneer Senior High School for a conference battle against the Lady Panthers. Second-year head coach McKenzie Bezon and her young squad came onto the court in aspiration to continue this roll their on.

The starting five was represented by one junior (Kaylee Krysztof), three sophomores (Mya Bush, Sam Pintabona, Mia Vannelli) and one freshman (Nyema Blair). Only one senior on the varsity team (Ariel Ashwas).

Pioneer (5-4) kept it close once the game got started. Senior Myah Fox provided tough defense in the paint and had a block shot to keep Depew from attacking. Early on the Lady Panthers prevented second-chance buckets, got out in transition and broke their press.

Coach Bezon made an adjustment to her full-court press, they went from a 1-2-2 to a man-to-man style and it paid dividends down the stretch.

“They were picking it apart,” said Bezon. “We switched to our man-to-man, which is usually our bread and butter. We create turnovers and try to score off of that.”

That and Mia Vannelli dropping eight points in the second quarter, extended Depew’s lead to double digits. They outscored Pioneer 20-8 in the quarter and jogged into the locker room up 32-13 at the half.

Vannelli would continue to be the main scorer. She added eight more points in the third quarter and relentlessly was grabbing rebounds for her team. Vannelli led the way with 21 points, this was her second game coming back from an ankle injury.

“I battered the defense and I had to battle a lot because they boxed out good,” said Vannelli. “I just had to find a way to work around and just be strong going up.”

Depew also packed the paint more in the second half as Pioneer’s offense revolved around attacking and scoring inside. It forced Pioneer to shoot from the mid-range and beyond the arc, which did find some success. Junior Kyler Felber hit all four of her shots from three-point land to grant her 12 points in the contest. Fox led the team with 13 points.

However it proved to not be enough for a comeback as Depew came away with a 64-32 victory.

It has been an impressive overall record for the Lady Wildcats so far, but their league record is something else. Their currently undefeated in the Erie County Interscholastic Conference Division 3 (5-0) and have now outscored their opponents 354-181; the coaches’ reason for the success is team ball.

“We share the ball well, we give the extra pass and I think that’s been helping us and our offensive rebounding has been tremendous,” said Bezon.

Depew will not have to wait very long for their next game. They will be at Holland tonight for a 6:00 p.m. start time.

Coming up next for Pioneer they will have a breather and get some practice in. Then on Monday Jan. 24, they’ll hit the road for a league contest with Maryvale. Tip off set for 6:30 p.m.

Depew and Pioneer will play again on Tuesday, Feb. 15.

Follow me on Twitter at @Jacob_Fyock

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