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Elba girls prove themselves against good Alexander squad

By Brian Hillabush

 Two of the top three teams in the Genesee Region League squared off in Elba Thursday night. 

It was the host Lancers that battled back from a huge early deficit to beat Alexander 61-53, improving to 12-2.

They keys to the win again was solid pressure defense, fresh legs ... and holding Alexander star Anni Lehtola in check.

The Trojans opened up a fast 9-1 lead as Rachel Pettys scored four of those points and Lehtola drained a 3-pointer.

The first basket for Elba came from Chelsie Pangrazio, and the Lancers closed the lead to 13-9. But Alexander went on another run, with three free throws and were ahead 17-10.

Meg Stucko had a bucket to end the first quarter to make it 17-12.

Elba quickly took the lead for good in the second quarter as eighth grader McKenzie Bezon went off.

Bezon hit a free throw, then dropped in a 3-pointer, stole the inbounds pass and scored again, making the score 20-18. Rachael Cook had consecutive rebound put-back baskets and all of a sudden a 9-1 lead turned into a 25-18 deficit for Alexander.

Cook had another bucket, Julie Marshall scored and Bezon hit one of two foul shots to make it 30-20 at the half.

The Lancers came out hot in the third quarter with Sarah Schwartzmeyer, Cook and Bezon scored three-straight baskets. 

Lehtola had her best quarter, scoring six of her 13 points before fouling out in the third quarter. 

But Elba had taken control with a 47-36 lead going into the final frame.

Midway through the final period, Alexander made a run. Anna Dominick scored, Rachel Pettys hit two free throws, and Dominick hit two more foul shots to cut the lead to 52-47.

Pettys hit a foul shot and Katie Kochmanski scored and the score was 52-50 with just over two minutes left.

Schwartzmeyer scored before there was an intentional foul called on the Lancers, giving Schwartzmeyer a chance to hit one of two free throws. 

Cassy Engle scored and then hit a free throw and the lead was back up to 10 points with about a minute left to play.

Cook scored 12 points with 10 rebounds and Stucko added 10 boards to go with her three points. Bezon had 11 points with Chelsie Pangrazio added seven points. Schwartzmeyer had six points and Missy Call added six points and four assists.

Dominick had 12 points and Pettys added 11 for the Trojans (9-3)

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