Last evening the Genesee region girls basketball rivals, Notre Dame Fighting Irish versus the Oakfield Hornets kept the crowd cheering on both sides for an entertaining evening contest at Notre Dame High School.
Both teams battled the ball through four quarters to a close four-point game after Oakfield scored with 16 seconds left on the clock trailing 41-37. A technical was called against the hornets and foul shots benefited the Irish favor in the remaining seconds to finish on top 45-37.
Oakfield’s Coach Jeff Schlagenhauf’s postgame summary:
“We talked about getting off to a good start in their gym, it’s a tough place to play but great environment for high school basketball. Defensively we stuck to what we wanted with our game plan.
"It all came together in that early part of the game, knowing full well that they would make adjustments. Coach McCulley does a great job with his kids. We were able to weather that storm going into halftime with the lead. But we talked in the locker room, they were going to keep coming, it’s their gym, they’re a good ball club and that’s what they did.
"They really kind of took it to us in the second half a little bit of the standpoint of taking us out of what we wanted us to do. Couple things changed for us after halftime -- offensively we stopped running our plays and could not get the drops. They got a couple easier baskets that did not happen for them in the first half.
"I think that was a little bit of the momentum shift that happened for us not being able to score and they took that lead, four, five points and kind of hung there the rest of the game."
Notre Dame’s Coach Tom McCulley postgame summary:
“After the first quarter being down by 10, we talked about not panicking and do what we can do, were a good team. Oakfield obviously came out with more energy than we did and they got up big, but we got players that can do good things out on the court offensively and defensively and by that we had to dig in, get some stops.
"Oakfield was getting some easy buckets back in transition on us and we were not getting back very well in the beginning half. Once we started getting back and getting into a half court man to man coverage, they didn’t get so many good looks at the basket and we were able to claw back into it.
"We have some young players that are in new roles this year that have never been in before. When you play a quality team like Oakfield, sometimes you got to get your feet wet, you have to get in the rhythm of the game before you start to feel comfortable and that’s what exactly happened.
"We were able to weather the storm in the first half, Amelia and Sara got comfortable in the game and were the ones that were open. Oakfield was doubling Callie and Stevie when they were in the paint and Sara and Amelia knocked off some huge shots in the third quarter and that got us up and gave us a spark and we never really gave it back.”
Notre Dame Callie McCulley had 12 points, 12 rebounds and eight blocks. Amelia McCulley added 12 points and Stevie Wilcox 10 points. Oakfield-Alabama Kelsey Shlagenauf had 15 points, Shelby Carson 10 points.
Photos by Thomas Ognibene. To view or purchase click here.