Lady Tigers first sectional final squad in ’95-96 has close ties to this year’s team

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 1 March 2023 at 8:23 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Lyndonville’s Sherri Stephens drives against Wheatland-Chili defender Megan Young during the 1996 Section V Class DDD championship game at SUNY Geneseo.

When Lyndonville takes to the court at Letchworth Friday night the Lady Tigers will be playing in the sectional championship game for just the second time in program history.

No. 3 seed Lyndonville will take on top seeded Keshequa at 8 p.m. for the Class D1 championship.

Lyndonville’s only other trip to the finals came during the 1995-96 season when the Lady Tigers were downed by Genesee Region League foe Wheatland-Chili 46-38 for the Class DDD championship at SUNY Geneseo.

Interestingly, there are a good number of family connections between this year’s Lady Tigers team and the 1995-96 squad.

No less than four members of this years squad – senior guard Haley Shaffer, junior center Ashlee Stephens, senior guard Lorelei Dillenbeck and sophomore forward Addison Dillenbeck – all have relatives who played on the 1995-96 team.

Those 1995-96 connections include Teri Woodworth and Sara Woodworth who are Shaffer’s mother and cousin; Sherri Stephens who is Stephens’ aunt and Michelle Thurber Dillenbeck who is Lorelei and Addison’s mother. In addition, Michelle’s husband is Lady Tigers co-coach Lee Dillenbeck and her sister is co-coach Katelyn Thurber Draper.

Sara Woodworth, who scored a team high 16 points and Stephens who tallied 7 in the title game against W-C, were both named to the All-Tournament team.

The lineup for the 1995-96 Lady Tigers squad, which was coached by Mark Hughes, also included Kristina Herman, Solfrid Fladberg, Amy Bentley, Jesse Thering, Ellie Mauragis and Christine Dunn.

That team, which had a then school record total of 13 wins, defeated Alfred-Almond 53-33 in the quarterfinals and Avon 53-32 in the semifinals to become the first Lady Tigers squad to play in the championship game.