Carter, Rowe among week’s top performers
The Week in Review for local sports performances, Feb. 18 to Feb. 24:
TOP MALE PERFORMANCES: Devin Pope and Bryce Rowe. Chautauqua Lake’s Pope made his last home game memorable Friday, going past 2,000 points for his career — only the fourth male player in Chautauqua County history to do so. The milestone came with 1:11 left in the third quarter when Pope grabbed a rebound off a missed free throw and scored on a putback. Pope, who will play college basketball at SUNY Geneseo, wound up with 29 points on the night as the Thunderbirds beat Salamanca to advance to the Section 6 Class C semifinals.
Ripley’s Rowe, representing Chautauqua Lake’s combined wrestling team, won the state championship in the 160-pound weight class late Saturday.
TOP FEMALE PERFORMANCE: Amari Carter, Dunkirk. The Lady Marauders’ Cinderella run to the final four of the Class B1 girls’ basketball playoffs might have ended without Carter’s 26 points and eight rebounds in a close game last Thursday against City Honors in Buffalo. The sophomore center went well above her season average of about seven points per game, choosing a great time to have a monster performance. Eleventh-seeded Dunkirk won, 67-64, to advance to a Thursday semifinal against No. 10 seed Medina at Kenmore West High School.
TOP TEAM: Fredonia girls’ basketball. The Lady Hillbillies have had a similar season to Dunkirk. Both teams started poorly but improved as the season progressed. And now, like the Lady Marauders, Fredonia is getting hot at the right time. Seeded fifth in the Class B1 playoffs, they rolled over Springville, 57-38, Tuesday. Then they won on the road at Medina, 35-29, Thursday to advance to the Class B1 semifinals against top-seeded Newfane next Thursday.
If Fredonia can pull off the upset against a Lady Panthers squad that has won 14 games in a row, they could face a familiar foe in the final Sunday at Buffalo State: Dunkirk, playing in the other semifinal at Kenmore West two hours earlier on Thursday. Obviously, that would be one of the most important games in the long history of the Dunkirk-Fredonia rivalry.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “They just started believing in themselves. We made some incredible passes. It was like tic-tac-toe basketball and it was fun to watch.” — Silver Creek girls basketball head coach Tammy Rice on her team’s 47-24 defeat of Cattaraugus/Little Valley on Tuesday to open the playoffs.