Niagara Gazette


March 1, 2014

Wolverines' rally cut short in AA semi's

Niagara Gazette — KENMORE — All season, Niagara Falls had been able to overcome its lack of size with a blend of quickness, athleticism and depth.

The plucky Wolverines finally met their match Friday night in 6-foot Williamsville North center Ericka Taplin, who scored a game-high 24 points and notched a huge block late in the fourth quarter as the Spartans beat Niagara Falls 51-49 in a Section VI Class AA semifinal at Kenmore West.

Taplin scored 10 of her points in a second quarter during which the Spartans outscored NF 14-9 and opened up an eight-point lead. Will. North (12-8) led 31-23 and by as much as 12 early in the third quarter.

That’s when the Wolverines’ (17-3) speed started to become a factor. Niagara Falls pushed the pace, opened up the game and rallied back, eventually taking a late lead before falling.

“All year we’ve planned on wearing teams out,” said NF coach Mike Esposito. “I thought we did that, they just had a little more gas than I thought.”

Niagara Falls cut the lead to 43-35 heading into the fourth quarter, which they opened with a 9-3 run. Senior Victoria “Shmoo” Pryor hit a driving layup then forced a turnover by hustling to bank a tipped pass off a Will. North player before the ball went out of bounds.

Pryor then swung a pass to junior sharpshooter Bianca Brown, who drained a 3-pointer from the left elbow. Will. North ace shooter Anne Principe, who Esposito said was a defensive focal point heading into the game, banked home an open trey to answer.

Five-foot-7 junior Ijon’Ana Laster, who battled down low with Taplin for the first half of the game, grabbled her own blocked attempt for a layup. Taplin missed inside and Pryor pushed up court, jumping into a defender on the fast break to draw a foul. She knocked down both free throws to cut the WN lead to 46-44 with 3:19 left.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page