The Batavia High Lady Blue Devils locked up the No. 1 seed for the Section 5 Girls Basketball Tournament in fine fashion Wednesday night, riding the 1-2 scoring punch of senior shooting guard Ryann Stefaniak and sophomore point guard Mackenzie Reigle to a 69-34 victory over visiting Pittsford Sutherland in Monroe County Division 4 action.
The win caps an exceptional regular season for Batavia, which takes a 17-2 record – 8-0 in league play – into the Class B1 sectionals.
Coach Marty Hein’s team will receive a first-round bye due to its lofty standing, and will open with a home game, likely against Livonia or Greece Olympia, on Feb. 22.
Playing in front of an enthusiastic “Senior Night” crowd (which saw the Batavia High varsity boys defeat Greece Olympia in the first game of a double-header), Batavia jumped out to a 22-8 first-quarter lead behind Reigle’s 13 points.
Batavia went cold in the second quarter, scoring just two points in the first 4 ½ minutes, and saw its lead cut to 24-17 before a pair of free throws and a layup by senior center Meghan Houseknecht (on a nifty assist from Reigle) made it 28-17.
Reigle then scored two baskets in the final minute to give the Lady Devils a 32-18 halftime edge.
Stefaniak got the hot hand in the third quarter, scoring nine of her game-high 23 points, while sophomore guard Bryn Wormley chipped in with five points, including a corner three-pointer, to expand the lead to 52-30 after three periods. Wormley finished with eight points.
The Lady Devils shut out the Lady Knights from the field in the fourth quarter, limiting the visitors to just four free throws, to win going away.
Senior guard Jenae Colkey made her only field goal attempt of the game in the final quarter (she added three steals and three rebounds) while the 6-foot center Houseknecht completed the scoring with a three-pointer from the top of the key.
Stefaniak and Reigle were outstanding on both ends of the floor, with Stefaniak shooting 10-for-16 from the field with six steals and four rebounds, and Reigle making eight of her 15 shots with three steals and three assists.
Batavia, unofficially, was 28-for-54 from the field and 10-for-18 from the foul line.
Senior forward Aneliese Brandt led Pittsford with 15 points and sophomore guard Maley Garcia added eight. Pittsford, in dropping its ninth straight, enters the Class A sectional tournament with a 6-14 record.
While acknowledging an outstanding regular season, Hein said he is perplexed by the team’s lack of intensity at times.
“There are still too many highs and lows,” he said. “We’re playing good basketball, but there are parts of games when we take time off.”
He said the team can’t afford to let up in the sectionals.
“The girls have to understand that they need to play with a sense of urgency,” he said, noting that the squad will scrimmage against other schools a couple times before the 22nd.