By Sam Wilson
Powered by 18 points, 15 rebounds and three steals from senior Linnea Jimerson, the Ellicottville girls basketball team snapped a four-game losing streak on Friday, improving to 5-2 in CCAA East II.
The Eagles won a nail-biter, 44-39, at Pine Valley last month, but took control with a 15-0 first quarter and led by 24 at halftime in the rematch.
“Going into this game we knew we could play better than we did the first time,” first-year Eagles coach Chelsea Cole said. “So we all had that mindset where we want to come out and just get on top and my girls did it, even being off for two days (with school closed), they came out and they played a really good game.”
Ellicottville, like most schools in Western New York, closed on Wednesday and Thursday due to the extreme cold weather, after its Tuesday night game against Forestville was postponed.
“No school, no practice, which was a bummer but there was nothing I could do about it,” Cole said.
Evie Nuzzo added 10 points off the bench, including a pair of three-pointers
“She played awesome,” Cole said of Nuzzo. “I’m really proud of her, she’s grown a lot since the start of the season and I think she’s going to be a top player next year.”
Sierra Maybe had six rebounds for Ellicottville. Makenna Smith had six points, five boards and four steals while Emilee Ruiz marked eight points and five boards. Meg Chapman also grabbed five rebounds for the Eagles.
The Eagles close the regular season with three CCAA East II games against Forestville, Cattaraugus-Little Valley and North Collins and a final non-league test against Randolph. Friday’s win encouraged Cole entering the last two weeks before the Section 6 Class C-2 playoffs.
“I think as of right now we look really good,” Cole said. “We’ve been working more as a team lately and I expressed that at practice that we’ve got to just keep working as a team, talking as a team. By the time playoffs come, I hope we start perfecting our plays and just our defense. I think we’ll be ready for a playoff game.”
The Eagles honored Jimerson before the game for her 1,000th career point, scored a week ago at Franklinville. Jimerson received a commemorative basketball for joining Ellicottville’s 1,000-point club, following Amy Reed (1993), Kylee Lindell (1997), Janae Hamilton (2013) and Marissa Hamilton (2016). Pine Valley fell to 3-11.
Pine Valley (28)
Fadale 0 3-4 3, Miller 3 0-0 7, Westlund 1 0-2 2, Swanson 3 0-0 6, Tunstall 2 3-5 7, Campbell 0 3-6 3. Totals: 9 9-17 28.
Smith 2 0-0 6, Ruiz 2 3-4 8, Jimerson 7 4-4 18, Maybee 1 1-4 3, Nuzzo 4 0-0 10, Earley 2 0-0 5, Chapman 2 0-0 4. Totals: 20 8-12 54.
Pine Valley 0 5 15 28
Ellicottville 15 29 39 54
Three-point goals: PV 1 (Miller), E’ville 6 (Smith 2, Nuzzo 2, Ruiz, Earley). Total fouls: PV 13, E’ville 19. Fouled out: None.
JV: Ellicottville, 45-23.
Makenna Smith tossed in 15 points and Sierra Maybee had 11 to key Ellicottville (8-9) on Tuesday night.
The Eagles used a 17-7 third quarter to pull away from a tie game (16-16) at halftime, hitting 7-of-11 from the free throw line in the period.
Mackenzie Ryan (7 points) had nine rebounds and four blocks for the Timberwolves (7-8).