After posting an impressive 7-4 league record and making sectionals for the first time in over 17 months, the Poland Tornadoes traveled to New York Mills to take on the #1 seeded Marauders, who posted a 16-2 record in the regular season, in the Quarterfinals on Thursday. Poland made the game very interesting in the first half with some stellar defense, but true to form, the Marauders settled down and won the game in the second half, beating Poland 78-60.
Poland (11-8) came out in their Section III Sectional playing unafraid. After falling down by six points early in the contest due to two three-point field goals by the Marauders, Poland answered with their own three-pointer, hit by senior Erin Batson, which gave the Tornadoes a boost on the defensive end in the final two minutes of the first quarter.
Two steals from Batson and a defensive rebound from Jordyn Gauthier resulted in a 6-0 run for Poland, and their first lead of the game (15-14), causing New York Mills Head Coach Andrea Dziekan to call a time out.
Answering back like they would throughout the game with excellent shooting from three-point range, New York Mills took the game back with a three-pointer from Erica Pendrak and lay up from Adriana Surprenant, going ahead by four points (19-15) and ending the quarter up by two (19-17) after a basket from Poland’s Natalie Powers. Pendrak and Surprenant combined to score all of the Marauders points in the first quarter, with Pendrak scoring 11 points and Surprenant scoring eight points.
The second quarter saw Poland again not back down and tie the game up at 19 early after Gauthier gathered one of her six rebounds in game and made a shot in the paint.
Both teams traded baskets a couple times until Poland’s defense again came alive and created some easy offense for the Tornadoes.
With just over three minutes left in the first half, Poland went on a 9-0 run with Ashley Huckabone scoring seven of her 10 points in the quarter, giving Poland a 30-21 lead.
That nine point lead, the biggest either team posted in the games first 16 minutes, was sure to come down and did when the Marauders again got hot from the field, starting with two made foul shots by Carly Dziekan, which forced Poland’s biggest rebounding threat Natalie Powers to the bench with three fouls.
New York Mills ended the half on a 10-2 run and brought Poland’s nine-point lead to three (37-34) with a couple more three-point field goals from Pendrak and Katie Critelli.
The second half, specifically the third quarter, saw the Marauders take the game over with five different players score in the quarter. Pendrak scored seven, Surprenant scored seven, Katie Critelli scored three, Kaila Wilkinson scored two and Carly Dzieken scored two.
Page 2 of 2 - Poland kept the game within one point (42-41) with five minutes left in the quarter, but the Marauders went on a 7-0 run and 6-2 run, broken up by a Batson field goal, and led by 11 to start the fourth quarter.
Poland tried to get back in the game with the efforts of Morgen Irwin, Lauren Gunderman, Gauthier and Batson, but the deficit was too much for the Tornadoes with the Marauders taking better care of the ball in the second half.
New York Mills ended up outscoring Poland by seven points in the final quarter, 21-to-14, on their way to the Semifinals with a 18-point win at home.
The Marauders players to score in double figures were Pendrak, Surprenant and Critelli. Pendrak finished with a game-high 23 points, Surprenant finished with 19 points and Critelli finished with 16 points. What should also be noted is that their top three scorers made nine three-pointers in the game, with Pendrak hitting two, Surprenant hitting three and Critelli hitting four.
Rounding out the scoring for New York Mills was Melissa Vasco, Kelly Pettigrew, Kaila Wilkinson and Carly Dziekan. Vasco scored one, Pettigrew scored two, Wilkinson scored four and Dziekan scored five.
For the Tornadoes, their top players were Batson and Irwin. Batson finished the game with 14 points, five assists and five steals. Irwin finished the game with six points, six assists and three steals.
Other contributors for the Tornadoes were Natalie Powers, Ashley Huckabone, Lauren Gunderman and Jordyn Gauthier. Powers had two points, Huckabone had 14 points, Gunderman had six points and Gauthier had four points.
New York Mills will go on and play the winner between Madison (12-6) and Sackets Harbor (12-6) next Saturday (2/27).
New York Mills 78
Score by Quarter:
New York Mills 19-15-23-21 78
Poland 17-20-9-14 60
NEW YORK MILLS (17-2, 12-0) Erica Pendrak 23, Melissa Vasco 1, Adriana Surprenant 23, Kelly Pettigrew 2, Katie Critelli 16, Kaila Wilkinson 4, Carly Dziekan 5
POLAND (11-8, 7-4) Morgen Irwin 6 points, 6 assists, 3 steals; Natalie Powers 2 points; Ashley Huckabone 14 points; Lauren Gunderman 6 points, 12 rebounds; Jordyn Gauthier 4 points, 6 rebounds; Erin Batson 14 points, 5 assists, 5 steals