Upsets, historic wins, and dramatic finishes on Sectional Final Friday

High School Sports

Penfield upsets Bishop Kearney in third-straight sectional championship showdown

Girls Basketball

Class AA – (6) Penfield 54, (1) Bishop Kearney 51

After falling to the Lady Kings the past two years in the sectional championship, the third time was the charm as Penfield knocked off their rivals for the Class AA championship.

Penfield led 26-24 at the half and started the third quarter on a 16-6 run. The Patriots led 42-35 at the end of three quarters.

The Lady Kings clawed back in the game and finally it at 48 with 3:39 to go on a Taylor Norris offensive rebound and putback.

Haley Emmick made a bucket in the paint and Norris countered with one of her own to tie things up at 50.

The final three minutes consisted of free throws, with Eva Elliot making one with less than a minute left to put Penfield up 52-51. Haley Emmick added two more to give the Patriots a 54-51 lead with five seconds remaining.

Bishop Kearney had a good look at a three-point shot but it did not fall and Penfield came out with the win.

“Everyone doubted us from the beginning of the season. No one expected us, we were the 6th seed and we still pulled it out,” said senior Emma Blumenstock. “You can never doubt Penfield.”

“The past three years I’ve been on the team we’ve been going against BK so this feeling is what we wanted,” said Emmick, a senior forward.

Elisa Faklaris led the Patriots in scoring with 14 points while Kaia Goode also led Bishop Kearney with 14 points.

The sectional championship is Penfield’s first since 2016.

Class A – (1) Mendon 61, (3) Brockport 41

The Vikings completed their undefeated season in historic fashion, winning their fifth consecutive sectional title on the same night head coach Todd Julien won his 400th varsity game.

“It really is a testament to the program Mendon has built here that we can keep winning and keep having that success,” said senior Lexi Green.

Mendon dominated from the jump, holding Brockport to only 19 points in the first two quarters. They pulled away in the second half, to finish the game up 20 over the Blue Devils.

Green left it all on the court in her final game before heading to Cornell, scoring a game-high 26 points for the Vikings. Junior Lily Kennedy added 17 points of her own.

“This was a light in a dark place for these kids, and all they wanted to do was play,” said Julien. “We set our sights on winning a sectional championship. It came true and I could not be happier for these kids.”

Class C1 – (1) East Rochester 54, (2) Avon 26

For the first time since 1992, the Bombers lifted a sectional brick for girls basketball with a 28-point win over Avon in the Class C1 title game.

Defense was the name of the game for East Rochester, grabbing 21 steals throughout the game and holding Avon to only two third quarter points. Only three Braves players scored in the contest.

Junior Sam Lewis recorded a double-double for the Bombers with 14 points, 11 rebounds, and added five steals. Lily Funk and Zoe Zutes also finished with double digit points, 11 and 10 respectively.

“There’s no better way I could picture this season to end. It was such a weird year and I’m so happy,” said Lewis. “We’re going to be so happy for such a long time. We’ve been working for this for so many years and it feels really good.”

The girls basketball title is East Rochester’s fourth this school year, along with field hockey, boys soccer, and girls tennis.

Boys Basketball

Class B2- (1) Northstar Christian 69, (6) Mynderse Academy 68

Turner Harris netted 37 points for the Knights in their sectional championship game, but none were bigger than the two free throws he made with two seconds remaining to give his team the win.

After getting fouled on a jumper while down 68-67 in the waning moments, Harris strolled up to the line and swished both of his free throws to put the Knights in front.

“Those are the biggest shots of my life. When was shooting those free throws I was thinking make it on net and they’ll go in,” said Harris.

Jake Smith had a heave from his own free throw line for a dramatic win, but it hit the rim and bounced away.

“I just wanted to play my hardest. I work every day and it pays off on the court,” Harris said. “This is my first sectional title and it’s hopefully not my last.”

The fourth quarter was a back-and-fourth battle which saw the lead change multiple times. Tied at 64 with 2:16 remaining, Harris was fouled on a jumper and converted a three-point play to put the Knights up 67-64.

With a minute left Mynderse’s Mike Bogart had a putback after a missed shot to cut the lead to just one and with 21 seconds left Bogart hit a turnaround fadeaway to give his team the lead before Harris’ heroics.

The sectional title is Northstar’s fourth in the last six years.

Class D1- (2) Wheatland-Chili 62, (5) Eugenio Maria de Hostos 43

The Wildcats earned their first sectional title in 36 years as they defeated EMHCS by 19 points to raise a brick for the first time since 1985.

After a defensive first quarter that saw the Wildcats lead 9-6, Wheatland-Chili found their form and led 28-16 at the half. The Wildcats never faltered as junior Aaron Lund scored a game-high 19 points in the win. Brendan Moore added 12 for Wheatland-Chili.

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