Morgan Genovese had herself a career night Monday in leading the Fredonia Lady Hillbillies (4-6, 5-10) past the Gowanda Lady Panthers (3-5, 4-10), 54-34, in CCAA Division 1 girls high school basketball action.
Genovese dropped a career-high 32 points and had a career-high nine steals in the team's final home game of the regular season. She netted nine points in the first quarter, 10 in the second quarter, five in the third quarter and eight more in the final stanza.
"She played an overall very solid game," Fredonia coach Carol Zirkle said. "She started us off with scoring right away. She had nine of the 12 points in the first quarter. It was key to get us going."
OBSERVER Photo by Roger Coda
Fredonia’s Emily Valvo (45) drives to the basket while being defended by Gowanda’s Karen Snow (12) during Monday’s CCAA?Division 1 girls high school basketball game.?
The win avenged a 42-39 loss to the Lady Panthers earlier in the season.
Playing a key role in the victory was the stellar defense the Lady Hillbillies demonstrated as they held Gowanda to just four points in the third frame.
"We played the best defense we have all season," Zirkle noted. "We were finding cutters and helping on the backside. Maddy Crandall had her best game of season. It was a solid team effort. Sarah Cruver did a very good job defensively on their top player."
Fredonia had several players step up throughout the game as Cruver scored all of her three points in the third quarter while Crandall had 10 of her 12 points in the second half.
Olivia Pucciarelli added five rebounds while Cruver had five rebounds and four steals. Valvo had five boards and Crandall had three assists for the winners.
"I just think we finally played the game like I have seen them play in practice," Zirkle said. "We finally took that step and are able to carry over practice stuff into the game and play with the intensity level we are capable of. This is an important time to start doing that. We have playoffs coming. We have played one quarter and two quarters. To play four quarters that way really makes me happy getting ready for the playoffs."
Gowanda's Emma Weyland was the leading scorer in defeat with 14 points. Markee John finished with eight rebounds and two steals while Alexa Farner had four boards and Karen Snow had two steals.
Fredonia returns to action Thursday when it travels to Southwestern.