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  • Writer's picturetgardner1167

Quick start leads Southwestern over Eden

It took Southwestern over three hours to get to their game at Kenmore West High School on Wednesday.

Once they arrived, it only took the Trojans a little over three minutes to take control of it.

No. 4 seed Southwestern jumped out to a commanding double-digit lead in the opening minutes and never looked back downing the No. 1 seed Eden Raiders, 56-39, in the Section VI Class B2 Girls Basketball semifinals.

The Trojans return to Buffalo State after winning the B2 crown last season. They’ll take on the No. 3 seed Olmsted Owls on Sunday at 3 p.m.

“We really lost some big players last year but our bounce back has been unbelievable,” said senior Erin Radack, who led Southwestern with 18 points. “It’s unbelievable how far this team has come. It’s just about working together and bonding.”

SW coach Dave Turnbull purposely put together his team’s non-league schedule so they would be playing a lot of games closer to Buffalo and beyond in order to prepare the Trojans for long trips in the postseason like Wednesday.

His planning paid off as Southwestern was unflappable getting off the bus after the three-hour, 12-minute trip from Jamestown to Tonawanda.

“Between our last home game in December and our first home game in January we traveled 1,126 miles (for road games),” Turnbull said. “We embraced the bus ride here a little bit. A lot of times a three-hour bus ride can take the life out of you. They were unfazed by it.”

Southwestern quickly came out to an 11-0 lead just three and a half minutes into the game. After Camryn Klawon hit a layup for Eden’s first two points, the Trojans answered back and took a 16-2 lead into the second quarter.

The teams played even for the majority of the remaining time, but the Raiders were unable to overcome the first eight minutes.

“It was really promising that we came out running the floor,” Radack said. “We were making our layups and catching the ball. It was such a strong start. It all came naturally after that.”

Sofia Genareo extended the Trojan lead to 20-2 before Eden’s Brooke Woodard caught fire hitting three triples on four possessions. Jessica Zittel also knocked down a three of her own for the Raiders.

Later on, Gianna Hoose and Carissa Minarovich made layups as Southwestern took a 31-14 lead into the locker room.

The Raiders continued an 11-5 run from the third to the fourth quarter coming to within 10 points of Southwestern, but that was as close as they would get.

Radack almost single-handedly closed out the win with eight points in the final six and a half minutes.

“I tell (Radack) all the time that obviously she is a great basketball player, but she’s a better person,” Turnbull said. “It’s great to be around a kid like that. For the last two years, when we need her to make a play, she makes a play.”

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