Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | Home RSS

Chautauqua County seniors get to shine in All-Star games

Girls play to tie

March 24, 2016
Westfield Republican

By Matt Spielman

SINCLAIRVILLE - Playing her senior year in Division 2 East of the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association, the skills of Pine Valley's Jamie Wilcox may have been hidden from coaches, players and fans in the rest of Chautauqua County.

Article Photos

Photo by Scott Reagle
Sherman’s Bridget Yaw shoots over Southwestern’s Kate Johnson during the Chautauqua County Exceptional Senior All-Star Game.

Well they were on full display March 16.

Wilcox scored 21 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, to earn the Most Valuable Player award as the Blue Team and the Red Team played to an 83-83 tie in the Chautauqua County Exceptional Senior All-Star Game at Cassadaga Valley High School.

"They came in thinking 'we're just going to have fun.' It certainly was fun, but the competitive edge came out in all of them," said Blue Team coach Emily Eckwahl, who coached with her father Dr. Brent Deuink. "They are all gamers. You can't really quiet that down no matter what the game is."

Jamestown's Kate Tucker, who is undecided where she will attend college, and Falconer's Baileigh Carter, who plans to attend SUNY Oswego for accounting and finance while being a member of the track and field team, both had 14 points for the Red Team. The Golden Falcons' Emma Steele, who is undecided on where she will attend college, chipped in 12 points, including four 3-pointers, for the Red Team.

"The game is all about them, we made sure they knew that," said Red Team coach Mark Petersen, who coached with Cassadaga Valley modified girls coach Todd Fryberger. "They are a bunch of great kids. We had a real good time with them."

The game also served as a release for two Panama seniors, who saw their high school careers come to an end Sunday with a New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class D championship game loss to Heuvelton. The Panthers' Emilee Sperry, who plans to attend Jamestown Community College in the fall, scored 15 points, including three 3-pointers, while teammate Taylor Bowen, who plans to attend Nazareth College to major in physical therapy, had five points, including a 3-pointer to give the Blue Team a short-lived lead in the final minute.

"It was awesome to play with girls who can play offense and defense with intensity. The Panama girls were just so fast," Jamie Wilcox said. "Kate Tucker was everywhere. The intensity is what made it so fun."

Eckwahl is a 2004 Clymer graduate who went on to play basketball at Jamestown CC. She currently teaches health and physical education at Sherman and is a certified personal trainer. Eckwahl also coaches the jayvee and seventh-grade girls at Sherman.

"It is so much fun to see how much they open up in just three times being together," Eckwahl said. "Monday they came in and they were pretty timid and shy. The gym was pretty quiet. Then (Wednesday night) I couldn't get a word in with these girls."

Southwestern, which made a run to the Section VI Class B championship game before losing to Olean, was represented by its entire starting lineup, which saw the floor together at times throughout the evening Wednesday. Diamond Fedrick, Sally Rudny, Kate Johnson, Hayden Burgeson and Maddie Sullivan combined for 17 points for the Red Team.

"We thought we'd do that because there was five of them," Petersen said. "It was a lot of fun."

Ashley Repine, as she did so many times before in the CVCS gym, shined on her home court, scoring eight points to go along with several rebounds and blocked shots.

The Red Team led throughout much of the evening, but as is bound to happen when 30 competitors get on the floor together - no matter the circumstances - the Blue Team was bound to rally.

It did late in the second half as the Wilcox sisters teamed up with Sperry for a 12-1 run to tie the game with a minute to go.

"We came into this wanting to have fun, but we wanted to win. It's about winning, but it's also about the charity and having fun with all the seniors," Jamie Wilcox said. "It got intense really fast, but I'm glad it ended in a tie."

The Red Team built its lead early in the first half, jumping out to a 17-4 lead off the opening tip.

Fredonia junior Hannah Cybart won the 3-point contest, making eight 3-pointers in one minute at halftime of the game.

Proceeds from the game, organized by Director Loren Smith, will benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

"I've worked Loren's camp many years and I've coached in this game many times. This is just something special," Petersen said. "I can't say enough that these kids get to do this. ... It was fun and we sure had a good time."



I am looking for:
News, Blogs & Events Web