Niagara Gazette — The Section VI boys and girls basketball postseason brackets were released Saturday morning, with the majority of play set to start today.
This season, Niagara County's best hopes for a sectional title may lie on the girls' side. The Wilson Lakewomen, after finishing 16-2 and winning the Niagara-Orleans League for the fifth straight season, earned the No. 1 seed in Class B-2. The Lakewomen got a first round bye and will not play until 7 p.m. Thursday, when they host the winner of Tuesday night's game between No. 9 Gowanda and No. 8 Oracle (for which the final score was not yet reported late Tuesday) in the quarterfinals.
The Niagara Falls Wolverines and the Starpoint Spartans also earned first-round byes on the girls' side, each taking the No. 2 seed in their respective classes.
Niagara Falls (16-1) won't play until 7 p.m. next Tuesday, when it will host either No. 10 Lancaster or No. 7 Orchard Park in the Class AA quarterfinals. The Wolverines will likely have to go through strong teams in No. 3 Williamsville North and No. 1 Jamestown for the sectional crown.
Starpoint (14-3) will host No. 10 North Tonawanda or No. 7 Kenmore East at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Class A-1 quarters.
The Niagara-Wheatfield Falcons (8-9), seeded eighth in Class AA, host No. 9 Clarence at 7 p.m. Thursday in the pre-quarterfinals.
The Grand Island Vikings (4-15), No. 9 in Class A-1, were eliminated Tuesday night in a shocking 64-37 rout by Sweet Home. The Lewiston-Porter Lancers (0-17), No. 11 in Class A-2, lost to No. 6 South Park, 65-41, in Tuesday's pre-quarterfinal.
On the boys' side, the best chance at a title may rest with the Lew-Port Lancers, No. 4 in Class A-2.
The Lancers (11-7) finished fourth in the Niagara Frontier League, battling bigger schools like Lockport, Kenmore West, Niagara Falls at North Tonawanda along the way. They'll host No. 5 East Aurora at 7 p.m. Friday in the quarterfinals for a chance to play top-seeded Amherst in the semifinals at Buffalo State.
The Niagara Falls Wolverines (6-11) have been a mainstay in the Class AA final, but struggled this season and face a tough road back. They're seeded seventh this year and host No. 10 Orchard Park at 7 p.m. tonight in the pre-quarters for the right to take on No. 2 Will. North.
Four other boys teams play in road pre-quarterfinals tonight.
The Nia.-Wheatfield Falcons (2-16) took the No. 11 seed in Class AA and play at No. 6 Lancaster at 7 p.m. Starpoint (6-11), No. 10 in Class A-1, takes on ECIC II rival Hamburg for the third time, playing the No. 7 Bulldogs at 7 p.m.
Grand Island (7-11), seeded ninth in Class A-1, and Wilson (5-13), No. 9 in Class B-2, will both play as part of a doubleheader at Hutch Tech. Wilson will take on No. 8 Emerson at 6 p.m. and GI will follow against No. 8 Hutch Tech at 8 p.m.
As a reminder, there is a $3 admissions charge for a Section VI playoff games.