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Purple Eagles nip Lady Irish in OT thriller

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 28 December 2016 at 10:13 pm
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Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Albion’s Emily Blanchard puts up a shot against Notre Dame defenders Natalie Thornton (23), Margaret Sutherland (33) and Hannah Bowen (20) during the Purple Eagles overtime win over the host Lady Irish this evening.

In a tight sea-saw battle, Albion edged past host Notre Dame 50-49 in overtime this evening in a non league girls basketball thriller.

Breaking away from a 41-41 tie at the end of regulation time, Albion jumped out to a 48-42 lead midway through the four minute overtime after a layup and a three-point play by Caitlynn Snook and a layup off a steal by Natalie DiCureia.

A three by Callie McMulley pulled Notre Dame back to within two, 48-46, but Albion answered back with two clutch free throws by Janae Doty with only two seconds remaining for a 50-46 lead. The free throws proved to be the game winners as Margaret Sutherland hit a three at the buzzer for the Lady Irish.

“They just played extremely hard and did it all game,” said Albion Coach Lucian Price. “It’s just great to see them believe they could do it and see their confidence grow. Everybody stepped up.”

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Albion’s Natalie DiCureia puts up a shot over Notre Dame’s Natalie Thornton.

Emily Blanchard took game high scoring honors for Albion with 17 as Nicole Eldred, Snook and Brylie Hapeman each had 7, Sierra Chudy and DiCureia 5 and Doty 2.

McCulley and Sutherland each scored 16 to lead the way for Notre Dame as Hannah Bowen had 7, Kimmy Keeler 5, Natalie Thornton 3, and Emma Finch 2.

Notre Dame grabbed an 8-4 lead at the end of the first quarter but Albion answered with a 12-8 scoring edge in the second period to knot the contest at 16-16 at the half.

The Purple Eagles opened the period with a 6-0 run on jumpers by Chudy, Snook and Blanchard and closed it with another 6-0 run on buckets by Eldred, Blanchard and Hapeman.

The Purple Eagles then moved out to a five point, 31-26, advantage at the three-quarter mark on threes by Blanchard, Eldred, Hapeman and DiCureia and a jumper by Blanchard.

The Lady Irish though quickly regained a 32-31 lead at the outset of the fourth quarter as a three by McCulley capped a 6-0 run.

There were five more lead changes and three ties for the final six minutes as Albion tallies by Hapeman, Blanchard and Chudy offset Notre Dame scores by Bowen, McCulley and Keeler. A free throw by McCulley with 34 seconds remaining knotted the contest at 41-41 forcing the overtime.

A layup by Snook at the outset of the overtime period put Albion back on top to stay. A three-point play by Snook off another layup followed by a layup off a steal by Dicureia put the Purple Eagles up by six and Doty later clinched the win with a pair of clutch free throws in the final two seconds.

Albion, which played without scoring and rebounding leader Chanyce Powell, who missed the contest with a foot injury, is now 5-2 on the season.

Boys Basketball
Newfane 69, Tonawanda 46
Kyle DeVoogle had 19 points, 7 steals and 7 rebounds and Max Weber 14 points and 12 rebounds to lead Newfane to a 69-46 non league win over Tonawanda.

The Panthers led 32-21 at the half and 53-30 at the three-quarter mark.

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Caitlynn Snook puts up a shot for Albion against Notre Dame defenders Margaret Sutherland (33), Hannah Bowen (20) and Callie McCulley (42).