After watching her team take care of the Fredonia Lady Hillbillies earlier in the season, Dunkirk coach Sarah Bogardus knows anything can happen tonight when her Dunkirk Lady Marauders travel to Fredonia for a CCAA Division 1 girls high school basketball game.
Despite the fact Dunkirk has the senior leadership edge over a young Fredonia team, and the Lady Marauders cruised to a 55-35 victory over the Lady Hillbillies the first time they met, that game was early in the season when both teams were trying to find their identity.
"It seems like we have always played a few league games in the past before we play Fredonia," Bogardus said. "By that time, we are able to have more of a feel of who we are. In the first meeting, it was so early, that we were still trying to figure out who we were as a team and find our individual leaders."
Dunkirk’s Khee Nance, left, and Fredonia’s Kirsta Wheelock, right, will look to lead their team’s to victory tonight, as the Lady Marauders will travel to take on the Lady Hillbillies.
Fredonia’s Morgan Genovese (2) will look to help the Lady Hillbillies avenge their early-season loss to the Lady Marauders.
A key to Dunkirk's season has been the luxury of having different players step up on any given night. With Khee Nance and Lacey Clark being the main threats for the Lady Marauders, they have also received big performances from DiMary Maisonet, Joyce Bomasuto and Selena Ruiz.
The Lady Hillbillies stormed out to a strong meeting in the first game as they scored 18 points in the first eight minutes. However, Fredonia only scored 17 points over the final 24 minutes.
"I am looking for us to play with intensity and try to put together 32 minutes of the best basketball we are capable of playing," Fredonia coach Carol Zirkle said. "We play very, very well at times and then we fall apart at times. We are looking to stay focused and stick to the game plan."
While Morgan Genovese has been the driving force for Fredonia this season, in order for the Lady Hillbillies to be successful tonight, she will need help from players such as Bre Dahn, Kirsta Wheelock and Alicia Deering.
"We can't have one player step up and have a good game," Zirkle continued. "We need 10 players to step up and play to the best of their ability. We can't count on one player. One player can't beat Dunkirk. Everyone has to step up."
"Morgan Genovese is obviously a great outside shooter," Bogardus added. "We have to make sure we don't leave her open and we contest her shots. They have a balanced attack. Olivia Pucciarelli has had some nice games. Dahn has had some nice games as well. Anyone can step up in a game like this."
For Dunkirk, it will be the last Dunkirk vs. Fredonia game for Clark, Nance, Bomasuto and Maisonet.
"I expect the four of them to be leaders," Bogardus said. "Everything goes out the window in this game because anything can happen."