By JOHN ANDERSON, photo gallery by STEVE HARRISON
Even though the Hornell girls’ basketball team came into the Section V Class B2 finals as the No. 2 seed, there was no question they were extreme underdogs.
After all, No. 1 Waterloo (23-0) not only was the NO. 1 team in all of Class B in New York state all season, they beat Hornell 76-49 a few weeks ago.
But anything can happen in a Section V final, and game plans change as well. With Hornell’s outside game not clicking, junior Maddie Moore took over inside.
Moore’s sixth point of the first quarter gave Hornell a 13-12 lead with second left in the opening quarter.
However, as the second quarter started, Moore went down with an injury and did not return.
Without the Hornell center in the game, Waterloo center Giavanna White-Principio scored 12 points and earned MVP honors as Waterloo captured the title, 59-38 Friday night at Rush-Henrietta High School.
“Maddie started out good, had a quick bucket, had some rebounds, she was playing good defense,” said Hornell coach Brian Dyring. “She’s our one true post player where we could dump it in and get some good looks. Once we lost her, we had to go five-out and that changes what we’ve done all year. That was a massive blow to us and hopefully she’s ok.”
We started off good, then the second quarter got away from us,” said Hornell coach Brian Dyring. “I don’t think we panicked, we just threw the ball away, But they went on the 23-0 run.”
With Moore out, Waterloo out-scored Hornell 23-0 in the second quarter and Hornell did not score again until Lillian Hoyt drained a 3-pointer with 4:12 left in the third quarter.
It’s Waterloo’s fourth title in five years.
Waterloo will now face B2 Champion Midlakes in the state qualifier as Midlakes defeated Wellsville in the first game of the night.
“But, this team never quit and that is a staple of this program and what it has become. They always played hard. You feel bad for the seniors that it ended this way,” Dyring said. “We’ve had multiple injuries and sickness all year but they persevered all year. They finished 16-6. It’s a phenomenal season. They have nothing to hang their heads about. They ran into a buzz saw. There is nothing to hang your heads about.”
As for the seniors, Dyring said, “This group was true leadership. Jane is the epitome of a team leader and what a captain should be. Tayghen is a good leader, (Juliet Marino) has been a captain in soccer, so she’s been there and even a kid like Ayla Prior who hasn’t played basketball in a few years. They knew they needed to foster this talent so we could go on and welcomed the young kids with open arms. It’s nice to see.
Hoyt, a freshman, led Hornell with 12 points while eighth-grader Selena Maldanado scored 10, Moore had six, senior Jane Spitulnik had five, Jordyn Dyring three and senior Tayghen Doerley had two.
Joining Giavanna White-Principio on the all-tournament team were Ciana Galvin (Newark), Tatum Smyth (Palmyra-Macedon), Jazzmyn Lewis (Waterloo), Jane Spitulnik (Hornell), Morgan Caraballo (Waterloo), Lillian Hoyt (Hornell).