Luther-led Gowanda captures Class D title

TONAWANDA — Weather delayed Tuesday’s Section VI Class D girls lacrosse championship game between Salamanca and Gowanda.

It was well worth the wait for the Panthers.

No. 4 Gowanda trailed 6-4 at halftime, but used a 7-3 third quarter to take the lead and eventually held off the second-seeded Warriors for a 12-11 victory at Kenmore East’s Adams Field.

Next up for Gowanda, which won its only other sectional title back in 2021, is a 5 p.m. Saturday Far West Regional date with Section V champion Penn Yan at Finger Lakes Community College. The Mustangs beat Palmyra-Macedon 11-8 in the Rochester area’s championship game Tuesday.

Chloe Luther is a big reason why Gowanda will be playing for a trip to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association final four this weekend.

The Panthers senior, who surpassed the 200-goal and 300-point milestones earlier this season, led her team with nine goals on 13 shots Tuesday. She now has 126 goals and 48 assists this year.

Junior Lily Scanlan added two goals and an assist, while freshman Cadence Luther also had a goal for Gowanda. Junior Karice John picked up two groundballs and forced three turnovers; Chloe Luther fielded one groundball and forced a turnover; and eighth-grader Zoe Bartlet also forced a turnover for the Panthers.

Salamanca did not go down without a fight. Sophomore Leilene McComber led the Warriors with seven goals and an assist to take her totals to 68 goals and eight assists on the season. Senior Keianna John had two goals and an assist, while senior Karina Crouse, senior Marijah Skye and eighth-grader Maliyah Foster each added a goal.

McComber picked up six groundballs, John fielded five and senior Leyna Harper grabbed two, while Crouse, Skye, junior Mikaela Tennity and senior Lezly McComber each fielded one.

Luther had 13 of Gowanda’s 15 draws controlled, while Crouse had six of Salamanca’s nine.

In net, senior Acey Stevens stopped nine of 21 shots for Salamanca, while sophomore Nina Coulon stopped eight of 19 shots for Gowanda.

The winner of this weekend’s regional will advance to the NYSPHSAA final four Friday, June 7 and Saturday, June 8 at SUNY Cortland.


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