Pine Valley falls in Class D title game | News, Sports, Jobs

OBSERVER Photo by Matt Spielman Sherman’s Jenna Fisher (3) closes out on Pine Valley’s Danielle West during Saturday’s Section VI Class D final at Jamestown Community College’s Physical Education Complex.

JAMESTOWN – With a Section VI crown up for grabs, Saturday’s Class D title game quickly became a coronation.

Sherman senior Jenna Fisher had 11 of her 17 points in the first quarter as No. 3 Sherman jumped out to a 23-8 lead en route to a 59-37 victory over No. 4 Pine Valley.

The Wildcats clinched their second straight sectional championship – they beat Panama last spring – but this time they will advance to a Far West Regional at 1 pm next Saturday at Rush-Henrietta High School in suburban Rochester.

“These girls had no other thought in their mind but getting past this game,” Sherman head coach Emily Eckwahl said. “That was ultimately their goal all season. … They worked day in and day out to earn it. “

Junior Paige Gratto led Sherman with 18 points, seven rebounds and four assists; junior Hayden Fisher had 14 points and three assists; and Jenna Fisher had six steals and two assists.

OBSERVER Photo by Matt Spielman Pine Valley’s Trista Farnham (2) is defended by Sherman’s Teagan Gratto (14) and Leighanne Swan (20) during Saturday’s Section VI Class D final at Jamestown Community College’s Physical Education Complex.

“I think we have a special bond. If somebody is not scoring, the other two pick it up, “ Jenna Fisher said. “I think we just have a nice connection and know how to play together.”

Sherman’s regional opponent will be determined at 6:30 pm Monday when Section V D1 champion Batavia-Notre Dame takes on D2 champion Andover / Whitesville at Dansville High School. Batavia-Notre Dame handed Fillmore – the New York State Sportswriters Association’s top-ranked Class D team – its first loss of the season Friday.

“At this point, we know what we do well,” Eckwahl said. “We’ll try to figure out the strengths of the other teams, but when it comes down to it, these girls will play hard whoever we put in front of them.”

Saturday’s game was over almost before it started.

Pine Valley turned the ball over seven times in the first quarter alone and the Wildcats turned that into 16 of their 23 first-quarter points.

OBSERVER Photo by Matt Spielman Sherman’s Paige Gratto attempts to get by Pine Valley’s Sarah Kruszka and Mattison Cadle (12) during Saturday’s Section VI Class D final at Jamestown Community College’s Physical Education Complex.

“Defense carried us into the offensive end,” Jenna Fisher said.

Hayden Fisher hit a 3-pointer to open the second quarter as Sherman continued a 19-2 run that began with junior Leighanne Swan converting a three-point play late in the first quarter and ended with a Gratto second-chance opportunity just before halftime.

“We don’t call her ‘Primetime Paige’ for nothing,” Eckwahl said of Scratch. “She thrives in big games like this and showed it again.”

For the game, the Panthers committed 22 turnovers, which Sherman turned into 33 points. Pine Valley attempted just 34 field goals.

“I thought we could’ve come out with a bit more energy,” Pine Valley head coach Tim Nobles said, “But it’s hard when they are all scorers.”

OBSERVER Photo by Matt Spielman Sherman’s Jenna Fisher, center, and Kaitlyn Lindsey, right, accept the Class D champions plaque from Chris Durr, Section VI girls basketball chairman, following Saturday’s title game against Pine Valley at Jamestown Community College’s Physical Education Complex.

Freshman Danielle West led Pine Valley with 13 points, including four 3-pointers, while senior Maggie King had 11 points.

“Girls at Pine Valley just aren’t used to this championship mentality,” Nobles said. “That’s what we’re trying to build back.”

With Jenna Fisher running the offensive show, the Wildcats committed just three turnovers in the game.

“We played a really tough nonleague schedule and our league is the toughest one around,” Eckwahl said. “Having games like that every night got us into good habits.”

Twelfth sectional title now in hand, Sherman will now have a week to get ready for its regional game.

“This year, it means so much that we get to go on,” Jenna Fisher said. “We’re going to work just as hard as we did for this game and the last game we played.”

“Our goal every day is to be better than we were yesterday,” Eckwahl added. “We’ll break down this game like we have every other game and hopefully be one step further next week.”

NOTES: Swan had seven rebounds and two steals for Sherman, which shot 23 of 62 (37.1%) from the field, including 7 of 22 (31.8%) from 3-point range. … Mattison Cadle had seven rebounds and four assists while Cassidy Vincent had five rebounds for Pine Valley, which shot 14 of 34 (41.1%) from the field, including 5 of 12 (41.7%) from 3-point range.

PINE VALLEY (37)

Farnham 1 2 4, RTunstall 0 0 0, King 5 1 11, Cadle 1 0 2, Hardy 0 0 0, DWest 4 1 13, Vincent 1 0 2, Kruszka 0 0 0, Hayes 2 0 5, AWest 0 0 0, Campbell 0 0 0, LTunstall 0 0 0, Dahl 0 0 0. Totals 14 4 37.

SHERMAN (59)

Bates 0 0 0, JFisher 8 1 17, Kopta 0 0 0, Persons 0 0 0, PGract 7 2 18, Wagner 2 0 5, TGract 0 0 0, Swan 1 1 3, HFisher 5 0 14, Lindsey 0 2 2. Totals 23 6 59.

3-point goals – DWest 4, Hayes, PG drawn 2, Wagner, HFisher 4.

Pine Valley 8 4 11 14 – 37

Sherman 23 13 14 9 – 59

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