By CHRIS BROOKS, photos by STEVE HARRISON
HONEOYE FALLS — The Lady Redskins of Canisteo-Greenwood, Section V’s only unbeaten, has found themselves one single victory away from their historic trek entering uncharted territory. Territory that not only the program, but the entire school itself has waited a long time for, to enter — a golden opportunity to play for everything.
It all led to Tuesday night after a long road trip up north to Honeoye Falls-Lima, where one final hurdle separating them from a Saturday afternoon trip to Rush-Henrietta was an opponent that delivered an early blow to their Sectional hopes last season — the No. 5 Alexander Lady Trojans. But this time around, things have become a lot different.
All season long the Lady Redskins, who hold one of the most experienced starting cores the region has to offer, has served as the 600 horsepower engine that has made the team go, night in and night out. Because of it, they have been able to remain perfect after rattling off 21 straight victories leading up to one of their biggest games of the season.
Thanks to a roaring start, No. 22 came with ease.
Canisteo-Greenwood would go on to earn the right to play for all of Section V’s marbles this weekend, after a tone-setting first quarter of play helped set up shop for the Lady Redskins from start to finish. Behind Brooke Burd and her incredible triple-double performance on both ends of the floor, they dominated the Lady Trojans to advance into the Class C1 Championship game on Saturday with a triumphant 46-31 victory.
“The girls played really hard last night. Brooke’s triple-double really got us going,” said Lady Redskins coach Les York. “We put together a good first half and then we got into a little foul trouble in the third with her, Lillian (Mullen) and Elaine (Roach) all having three fouls. Alexander was able to capitalize off of that a little bit, but our defense held them down while we settled down on offense in fourth to finish strong. Hopefully we can keep carrying this success forward. This has been best season in school history. We’ll see what we can do on Saturday against a tough O-A team.”
The Lady Redskins starting core assisted in making a big difference right off the bat in the opening eight minutes against Alexander, springing out to an early 7-0 run that would greatly increase overtime, eclipsing double figures, where it would remain for the rest of the evening. The momentum continued to sway in the top seed’s favor to help close out the second half, scoring nine of the first 10 points in the second quarter to increase their lead even more to 26-8 with less than two minutes left to play.
Alexander would provide one more push back though after a 28-12 first half was closed up for good, as they trimmed their deficit down to as little as 10 at one point, but Canisteo-Greenwood’s advantage would never sink below double figures, as the Lady Redskins remained vigilant on defense to keep the Lady Trojans at bay, finishing off the victory with one final run across the fourth quarter.
Canisteo-Greenwood would not do what they were able to do without the assistance of Brooke Burd, who was absolutely spectacular from start to finish on each end of the floor, garnering 12 points to pair with 13 rebounds and 10 blocks to complete a massive triple-double performance. Following behind was Lillian Mullen, who also had 12 points herself to couple with five assists and five steals. Peyton Peters tallied 11 points to pair with six rebounds, while Bailey Mullen grabbed seven additional boards to pair with three assists.
On Saturday, the Lady Redskins will go for it all, as their quest to claim the school’s first ever Section V Championship begins in a 2 p.m. tip-off at Rush-Henrietta, where they will take on the No. 2 Oakfield-Alabama Lady Hornets.
Alexander 7 5 12 7 – 31
Canisteo-Greenwood 17 11 6 12 – 46
ALEXANDER: Alyssa Kramer 2 1-2 7, Makenna Boyce 2 0-0 5, Madison Boyce 2 0-0 4, Emily Pietrzkowski 3 1-6 8, Laurel Kania 2 0-0 4, Melanie Pohl 0 3-4 3. Totals: 11 5-12 31.
CANISTEO-GREENWOOD: Bailey Mullen 3 1-2 8, Elaine Roach 1 1-2 3, Lillian Mullen 4 4-6 12, Peyton Peters 5 1-1 11, Brooke Burd 5 2-3 12. Totals: 18 9-14 46.
3-point goals: Alexander 4 (Kramer 2, Mak. Boyce, Pietrzkowski), C-G 1 (B. Mullen).
Total Fouls: Alexander 14, C-G 15. Fouled out: None.