By JOHN ANDERSON, photos by STEVE HARRISON
You saw it coming for a few years. A young Hornell team, so fast, so talented, so athletic, but in reality, a group of modified and JV kids playing (and winning) at the varsity level.
This season was no different, but the team has a lonely leader at the top – Maddy Moore. She is the only senior on the roster, but what an influence she is.
#3 Hornell defeated #1 Dansville (16-7) , 54-47 to win the first-ever Section V title in program history.
Moore scored 13 points with 10 rebounds and six assists.
Hornell will now face powerhouse take on Waterloo on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Waterloo (22-1) defeated Pal-Mac (19-4), 65-47.
Hornell (15-8) opened up with an 8-4 lead after one, but Dansville came back and took a lead in the second quarter, Moore stepped up and scored eight points to give Hornell some breathing room and a 25-23 lead at the half.
In that second quarter, 8th-grader Reagan Evingham got comfortable with a big 3-pointer. In the second half, Evingham (five rebounds) scored 10 of her team-high 14 points as the Red Raiders started the second half with a huge 9-0 run.
Hornell had momentum and a lead, 42-34 heading into the final quarter thanks to Lillian Hoyt’s decisive free throws that kept the distance.
Dansville and Chelsie Tyler (game-high 16 points) battled back in the fourth within five points and needed to foul and get baskets to win. But the Red Raiders kept making stops and shots for the seven point win.
Payton Bentley scored 10 points for Hornell in the victory with six rebounds and two steals while Jordyn Dyring (four rebounds, three assists, three steals) and Selena Maldonado (four assists, three rebounds, two steals) each scored seven points.
Also for Dansville, freshman Taylor Hamsher scored 10 and Kali Meyer added nine. Like Hornell, Dansville has just one senior, Stephanie Youngers.
Joining Moore as the MVP on the Section V all-tournament team were Maddie Verkey (Mynderse), Sara Reitz (Wellsville), Hamsher, Maldonado, Tyler and Evingham.