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Lewport Girls’ Football Team Reached State Finals and Top 10 GNN Teams of the Year | Sports

There have been more postponements and cancellations, but this year high school sports are back in full force and the sports teams in the Greater Niagara region have shone.

With the state playoffs returning for the first time since the fall of 2019, local teams have brought in a lot of equipment. Twenty-six teams made it to the section finals, while 18 won the section championships, while seven qualified for the states, and two narrowly missed winning it all.

For some, decades of drought have ended, while a few juggernauts have remained on top of the sporting mountain, and others have become a threat in the coming years. After weighing the achievements of the best teams in each sport, they have been narrowed down to the top 10 teams in the 2021-2022 sports calendar year:

1. Lewiston-Porter Women’s Football: Shameless and shameless, Lew Port has never made a secret of his intention to end the season with a state championship. The state title bid was one win short, but in the process, the Lancers made history. After failing to move forward after the 2020 Class A-2 Section VI Championship, Lew Port moved up to Class B and made it through the preliminaries, reaching the state semifinals for the first time since 1996 and the state finals for the first time since 1994. where he fell to Bronxville 2-0. The Lancers boast two of the top three scorers in the section Sophie Auer (34 goals, 20 assists) and New York State B Player of the Year Sarah Woods, who scored 32 goals and 30 assists. They dominated the postseason, passing 30-7 in seven games, which was good enough for first place.

2. Starpoint Boys Hockey: Another state finalist with so many wins coming from behind that the fans just instinctively sat on the edge of their seats. The Spartans scored in overtime after winning the school’s first state title. However, they lost 7-6 to Pelham three times in the state final. Led by senior captains Owen Keesman and Bobby Taylor, they went 9-4 in one-goal games, with the final four games of the season being decided by one goal. Appearing in the Finals for the third time in four years and scoring their second victory in that span, the Spartans look poised to become one of Western New York’s true hockey powers, especially with the likes of Justin Bull (40 points), Alec Kirk (35) and Matt Michalenko (31) plan to return next year.

3. Wrestling at Niagara Falls: No Section VI wrestling program had a better last month of the season than Niagara Falls. After failing to win several key regular season tournaments and missing the state double tournament, the Wolverines had eight finalists in the Section VI Class AA competition to win the title by 84.5 points. They sent 12 to the state qualifiers and then sent five to the state tournament. Eian Peterson (102 lbs), Jaden Krampler (118 lbs), Amarfio Reynolds (126 lbs) and Mike Siposs (160 lbs) won the individual group titles, while Jezier Carter (160 lbs) also made it to the states, finishing second in the individual events. . Niagara Falls similarly dominated the Niagara Frontier League, winning their third title in a row – 7-0 with an average of 45.1 points per duel – and extending their double league streak to 25 in a row.

4. Girls Volleyball Niagara Wheatfield: Even though Niagara Whitfield didn’t make it out of statewide round robin, she finished the season undefeated in the traditional best-of-five matchup. The Falcons won their third championship in four years and extended their match unbeaten streak to a best of 5 games to 28 games. Following four-year-old varsity players Elanna Lysiak and Kelsey Tailek, Niagara Whitfield also made it to the states for the second time in four years before going 2–4 in three double-sets at Glens Falls. The Falcons only went to five sets twice during the regular season and earned three sets 17 times in 21 games, including 15 of 16 in the Niagara Frontier League.

5. Medina baseball: COVID-19 has been the only thing keeping Medina from winning the championship for the past four years. The pandemic canceled the 2020 season, but the Mustangs have otherwise won three straight sectional championships. Medina beat rival Roy-Hart 1–0 in the B-2 class final and defeated Depew for the Class B overall title before losing to Palmyra-Macedona in the Far West Regional. Zack Fick, Aidan Paul and Xander Payne, who played mostly on serve for most of the season, have all scored without a hitter this season, and none of them allowed more than 15 earned runs. Fike scored a shutout in the B-2 class final for the second consecutive season and Paul scored two hitters in the B-total final.

6. Niagara Wheatfield Boys Basketball: For the first time in 49 years, Niagara Whitfield earned the title of section champion. The Falcons won their first Niagara Frontier League championship in program history, becoming the first team other than Niagara Falls to go undefeated in the league since 1988. All four of the team’s postseason games were decided by 10 points or less, including 59-56. victory over Williamsville East in the class A-1 group stage final. A dynamic backcourt duo of Xander Fletcher and T.J. Robinson averaged 35.6 points per game, while Wyatt Cooper Sr. grabbed 251 rebounds. Niagara-Whitfield also embraced Niagara Falls for the first time since the district merged into one high school in 2000.

7. Star Wrestling: It’s been brewing for several years, but Starpoint has established itself as one of the premier wrestling programs in Western New York. Not only did the Spartans win their first Class A Group Championship since 2006, they also finished second in the Group Double and used a wild card to advance to the state semi-finals. They sent all 13 wrestlers to the state qualifiers, where eight finished in the top four. Eighth grader Griffin LaPlante won the Division 1 group championship at 132 lbs, with older brother Gage finishing second at 145 lbs. Both took seats in the states. Starpoint also won the ECIC Tournament and the ECIC II Double Title.

8. Medina Football: After 32 seasons without separate championships, Medina has won two in a calendar year. With a 6-0 win in the spring to win the Class C title, the Mustangs proved it was no fluke by winning their first 11 games to clinch the league again. Their 17-game winning streak ended with a two-point loss to East Rochester/Gananda in the state quarterfinals. What really made Medina’s run so special was the team balance. He averaged 41.7 points per game but was only 8.5 behind. The Mustangs also gained 248.1 yards per game and Payne threw for 136.3 yards, becoming a true double threat team.

9. Lew Port Girls Basketball: Auer’s winning game with 3.2 seconds left gave Lew Port their first girls’ basketball championship in 17 years. The Lancers not only beat Depew for the Class B-1 Group Championship, but also beat Eden for the Class B Overall Championship before losing to Waterloo in the state quarter-finals. Lew Port simply dominated throughout the season, outperforming opponents by an average of 29.8 points per game. He won 14 games by at least 30 points, eight by at least 50 and two by 60 points. In the NFL, the Lancers went 15-1 to share the championship with North Tonawanda and lead the opposition by 38.5 points per game.

10. Grand Island Girls’ Lacrosse. The banner for the program was blank at the beginning of the season, but this year Grand Island has put up a couple of championships on the wall. The Vikings won their first conference championship in high school history and then won their first ever Class C title. This season they have a 49-ball lead in conference games, posting a perfect 6-0 record in conference games. Ultimately, Grand Island beat Williamsville East by 13 goals in the second half to win 21–11 in the Class C final before ultimately losing to Honey Falls-Lima in the Far West Regional. Four players have scored over 50 points: Olivia Fox (90), Lili Kozlowski (76), Juliet Chadima (56) and Ella Kozlowski (54).

Honorable mention: Newfane won its sixth consecutive Section VI Women’s Cross Country Championship. This season, Royalton Heartland won their first girls’ football championship in school history. Grand Island Girls’ Football advanced to the state quarterfinals for the fourth time in six years. Newfein won the Division 2 Title VI double tournament and an eighth consecutive Niagara-Orleans League championship. North Tonawanda won the first Division 1 Flag Football Championship.

Nick Sabato can be contacted by email [email protected] or twitter @NickSabatoGNN.

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