The Dunkirk Lady Marauders (2-0, 1-0) opened up their CCAA Division 1 schedule with a convincing 66-32 win over visiting Gowanda (1-4, 0-1) on Wednesday.
All nine of Dunkirk's players broke into the scoring column, led by Khee Nance's game-high 21.
"It's so big to have a balanced attack both offensively and defensively," Dunkirk coach Sarah Bogardus said. "Every girl on our team is capable of contributing, as evidenced (Wednesday)."
OBSERVER?Photo by Roger Coda
Dunkirk’s Khee Nance goes up for a shot Wednesday, as Gowanda’s Breann John falls to the floor during their CCAA?Division 1 girls basketball game, at Dunkirk Senior High School.
While the offense was potent, it was the defense that set the stage for a Dunkirk win as the Lady Marauders held Gowanda to just 12 first-half points and continuously turned takeaways into easy points.
"We have struggled on offense early on this season," Gowanda coach Megan Himelein admitted. "We aren't very deep guard-wise. Once we get the ball inside, we can go up strong for buckets."
Lexi Farner gave Gowanda a little momentum when she hit a buzzer-beater jump shot to end the first quarter - part of her team-high 11 points.
Both teams struggled to score in the second quarter as Dunkirk outscored Gowanda 9-6 over the eight minutes and led 25-12 at the break.
All six of the Lady Panthers' points in the quarter came from Bre John while seven of Dunkirk's were courtesy of Lacey Clark, who finished with 18 points, six rebounds and eight steals.
"We know that the only way we're going to win games is with good, fast defense," Bogardus added. "I'm so happy that we came out strong and quick right from the beginning. I think the defense is going to be what wins us games this year."
Nance exploded for 11 points in the third quarter as Dunkirk continued to increase its lead.
Gowanda, meanwhile, was able to find some success at the charity stripe. The Lady Panthers hit 7-of-8 free throws in the quarter with the one miss being a shooter violation.
"Some games will come down to a two-point margin," Himelein said. "If you can make shots at the line, you can win ball games. We do drills every day. They're obviously improving."
Dunkirk seemed to get stronger as the game went on as the Lady Marauders poured in 41 points in the second half. They only made three free throws all game, but were true on five 3-pointers.
"I'm so pleased with the offense," Bogardus raved. "We're taking advantage of mismatches when we have them, but we're being patient on possessions when we can't get it into the paint right away."
The Lady Marauders head to the Jamestown tournament Friday when they will open up against the host Lady Red Raiders.
NOTES: Jessica Gifford hit on a pair of 3-point shots and finished with 10 points for Dunkirk Markie John netted six points for Gowanda while Bre John had six points and six rebounds Rachel Rosas compiled four points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals off the bench for Dunkirk.
CCAA Division 2
Bears' Raymond too much for Black Knights
SILVER CREEK - Shawna Raymond had 27 points, nine steals and seven rebounds to help lead Frewsburg (3-0, 1-0) to a 62-39 CCAA Division 2 girls basketball win over Silver Creek (2-3, 0-1), on Wednesday.
The Bears built an 18-9 lead after the first quarter before outscoring the Black Knights, 21-8, in the second to take a commanding 39-17 lead into the break. Silver Creek kept pace with Frewsburg in the second half, as the Bears outscored the Black Knights, 23-22.
Reyanne Strong added 20 points and four assists in the win while Annie Berg chipped in six points and seven rebounds.
For Silver Creek, Jordan Brooks scored 22 points and hauled down 14 rebounds in the loss. Kelsey Orr added seven points for the Black Knights while Jade Lewis had a game-high nine assists.