BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Randolph’s boys basketball team received applause walking into Buffalo State Sports Arena on Saturday. Riding back from Rochester with a Far West Regional championship plaque, the Cardinals arrived just as the girls Class C regional playoff game tipped off.
“The girls watched the boys game on the bus ride up,” coach David Pihlblad said. “As soon as they won, the girls were freaking out and saying we’ve got to win now, it was more motivation for us that we have to finish the job and get the whole town of Randolph going to Albany next weekend.”
Both of Randolph’s basketball teams are advancing to state semifinals for the first time in history. They celebrated together after the girls pulled out a 42-40 win against Pavilion for their first regional title since 2012, and the boys became regional champions for the first time since 2004 by beating Lyons 57-47 earlier in the day at Gates-Chili. “Just a great day to be a Cardinal,” boys coach Kevin Hind said.
The Randolph boys move on in the NYSPHSAA championship tournament to play at Glens Falls Civic Center on Friday, while the girls will continue their state title quest at nearby Hudson Valley Community College.
Panama’s girls basketball team also advanced in the state tournament with a runaway win in the Class D regional, 63-44 against Kesheuqua.
The other 12 local squads playing Saturday saw their season’s end. Section VI champions Niagara Falls (AA), Amherst (A), Fredonia (B), and Panama (D) lost boys regional games at Section V sites, Lancaster (AA), Hamburg (A) and Depew (B) lost in their girls regional matchups at Buff State, and all of the Monsignor Martin teams playing in the CSHAA championship games at Fordham University, Nichols (AA), Cardinal O’Hara (A), and Mount St. Mary’s (B) girls, as well as Manhattan Cup champions Timon (A) and St. Mary’s (B) boys.
Girls Basketball Far West Regionals
Randolph, ranked No. 2 in the state in Class C, won in dramatic fashion when sophomore Quinn Pence drove into the lane and found senior Katelyn Storer for the go-ahead layup with 12 seconds remaining. Skylar Herrington led the Cardinals with 14 points, and Pence scored 12.
Mandy Brink had 28 points and four assists to lead Panama, ranked No. 2 in Class D, back to the state semifinals for the fourth time since 2017. Kaitlyn Horton scored 14 points and Kylie Morgan had 15 rebounds.
In a AA matchup between the highest-ranked NYSPHAA teams in the state, No. 4 Lancaster built an early lead against No. 5 Webster-Shroeder, but the course of the game changed when Legends star Madison Francis picked up her fourth foul before halftime. The Section V visitors pulled away in the fourth quarter for 64-57 win that was closely-contested until the final minute. Francis finished with 17 points, after scoring a dozen in the first quarter.
Hamburg went to overtime in its 53-47 loss to Canandaigua in the A regional. Virginia Tech recruit Clara Strack gave a valiant effort, coming back after knocking her head on the floor in the first half and scoring 26 points before fouling out in the final minute.
In Depew’s first-ever regional appearance, Kaylee Krysztof, a Binghamton recruit, scored 17 in her final game to close her career with 2,422 points, the fifth-highest total in Western New York history and a top 25 figure in the NYSPHSAA record book. The Wildcats lost to Waterloo 73-62.
Boys Basketball Far West Regionals
Following Randolph’s opening win, Fredonia lost a heartbreaker in Class B.
The Hillbillies, a No. 10 seed in the sectional bracket, appeared on their way to the B state semis when Mike Hahn hit a 3-pointer with no time left. But an inadvertent whistle caused the clock to stop with 3 seconds remaining. That was just enough time for Newark to score the tying basket and go on to win 66-58 in overtime. Ethan Fry led Fredonia with 18 points.
Top scorer Jordan Alexander returned for Amherst, coming off the bench to score 24 points, but the Tigers, state semifinalists in A last season, lost 51-48 against Irondeqoit in the finale of three games at Gates-Chili.
Omarion Ralands scored 16 points in Niagara Falls 66-59 loss to Victor in the AA regional at Rush-Henrietta.
Bryce Hinsdale scored 16 points for Panama in its 67-35 loss against defending D state champion Avoca/Prattsburgh.
Jonah Bronstein joined the News 4 roster in 2022 as a digital sports reporter. Read more of his work here.