Hornets upset #1 seed to win Section V championship
If a high school basketball team can play a perfect first half of a game, that's what the Oakfield-Alabama Hornets did Saturday morning on their way to an upset victory over #1 seed South Seneca in the Class C3 Section V championship match at Victor High School.
O-A won 43-39.
"Offensively, we were knocking some shots down," said Coach Jeff Schlagenhauf. "Defensively, I thought we were incredibly good. One of the big things that hurt us in the quarter-final and the semifinal was rebounding. We got outrebounded in both games so for the last two days in practice we said, 'look it, we've got to rebound the ball' and I thought we did a really good job."
In the second half, South Seneca started knocking down shots and shaved the O-A lead significantly but the Hornets didn't break. They maintained their mental toughness, countered with their own points and stuck to their defensive game plan.
"You're right, any time they made a run, we had a big play," Schlagenhauf said. "Sometimes it's those little things. There was a couple of deflections that ended up going out of bounds that we got our hands on that changed the possession. Kelsey had a great tie-up on a rebound that gave us a possession. Those are little things that sometimes go unnoticed, but that's how we got back in the game the other night against Keshequa."
For O-A, Tori Mandel scored 14 points and tournament MVP Danica Porter scored 11 points. She also had seven rebounds and Kelsey Schlagenhauf scored six points and had eight rebounds.
The leading scorer for the Hornets on the year, Brianna Smith, with a 15-points-per-game average and 364 points on the year, was held to six points. She also had seven rebounds.
Watch the video for more comments from Schlagenhauf, Mandel and Smith (with our apologies for not including Porter in the video but the cameraman messed up that interview).