Five straight section titles are nice, Elba's players will tell you, but they also know there is a "what could have been" question that will forever remain unanswered.
If not for a coronavirus pandemic that wiped out the 2020 postseason and shortened 2021, ending the title push with a sectional championship, could the Lady Lancers have won one, maybe two state titles?
We will never know. But we do know Elba knocked off the #2 seed, Prattsburgh/Avoca, in a pretty convincing fashion -- a team that regularly won by scoring 60 points or more per game while going 9-1 on the season. The game was never really close. The Lancers won 66-27.
It's the fifth straight Section title for Elba under Head Coach Tom Redband.
On Saturday, Byrnn Walczak scored 22 points, Taylor Augello, 13, Maddie Muehlig, 12, and Leah Bezon, 9. Muehlig also had eight assists. Dakota Brinkman, who scored five points, had nine rebounds, Walczak, eight, and Augello, seven.
Walczak, Muehlig and Bezon have been part of all five title teams and Augello has been there for the last four. All four graduate this year.
Notre Dame won its Class D1 championship game, so with Elba winning class D2, in any other year, the two archrivals would faceoff in a division consolidation game to determine which team would represent Section V in a Far West Regional championship game. Not this year.
Photos by Debra Reilly.