CANAJOHARIE - The Canajoharie Lady Cougars tipped off their Western Athletic Conference girls basketball season in winning fashion Wednesday night.
Facing Northville, the Lady Cougars controlled the critical aspects of the game to notch a 45-23 victory at Canajoharie High School.
Coming off a season-opening win over Hadley-Luzerne, Northville used a strong inside game, led by Emily Krom, to overcome a fast start by Canajoharie.
Canajoharie’s Dainara Veeder (2) is surrounded by Northville’s Emily Krom, right, and Morgan Wilson as she pulls down an offensive rebound during Wednesday’s Western Athletic Conference game at Canajoharie High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
Kara Schwab and Dainara Veeder staked Canajoharie to a quick 4-0 lead with baskets in the opening minute of play. Krom connected for the Lady Falcons' first basket then dished the ball off to Lyndsey Wadsworth and Charlotte Kalkbrenner as Northville put up six unanswered points for a 6-4 advantage.
Vedder tied the game with her put back on the offensive board and started an 11-2 run to put Canajoharie up 15-8 at the end of the first period of play.
The Lady Cougars stretched their lead to 19-8 on back-to-back baskets by Jenelle Dillenbeck to open the second quarter.
After a quick time out, Kalkbrenner snapped the Lady Falcons' scoring drought with a basket with five minutes left in the period.
Dillenbeck and Abbey Dearwester connected for baskets as Alexis Kane and Lauren Balfe delivered 3-pointers to help extend Canajoharie's lead to 29-15 at the half.
"The girls had a very good rhythm in the first half and that is the thing about this team, they play very well together," Canajoharie coach Joe Fowler said. "They have been playing together for quite some time and don't get riled easily."
Schwab and Veeder provided all the scoring for Canajoharie in a low-scoring third quarter for both teams. Veeder connected for five points, while Schwab had four.
Although the Lady Falcons began creating better scoring opportunities in the quarter, they came up empty from the field. Wadsworth and Krom accounted for Northville's two points in the quarter, both from the free-throw line.
The missed opportunities in the third period began falling for the Lady Falcons early in the fourth quarter as they put up six unanswered points to trim the Canajoharie lead to 38-25.
However, Kane delivered her second 3-pointer of the night with just over a minute left to stop the run and open a six-point game-ending run to close out the 45-23 victory.
"They [Canajoharie] are a good team," Northville coach David bush said. "We have things to work on. In the second half, we started to do things better but were still a little off. We are young and started two freshmen tonight. So they were a little nervous but that will settle down as the season rolls along. You can't make bad passes against Canajoharie, their hands are everywhere. The second half we started to make better passes and we came into our own. We managed to get the lead down a little bit and then they hit a couple of shots and got it back up again."
Wadsworth led the Lady Falcons' scoring with eight points, while Kalkbrenner added seven. Krom and Kelly VanNostrand added three apiece, while Morgan Wilson had two.
The Lady Cougars (2-1 overall, 1-0 WAC North) received scoring from seven players.
Veeder connected for a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds to go with six steals and three assists. Schwab had 10 rebounds and six points, while Dillenbeck finished with eight points and five steals. Balfe and Kane finished with six points apiece, all coming from behind the 3-point arc, while Abbey Dearwester and Kayla Bowerman round out the scoring with four and two points respectively.
"The whole idea is get playing time and a lot of these seniors who haven't seen a lot are now able to. That is the nice thing tonight," Fowler said. "And we started the league off with a win."
Canajoharie will host Saratoga Catholic Central Friday night, while Northville (1-1 overall, 0-1 WAC North) will return to the court Tuesday at St. Johnsville.
Canajoharie 45, Northville 23
Northville8 7 2 6 - 23
Canajoharie15 14 9 7 - 45
Krom 1-1-3, Wadsworth 3-1-8, Kalkbrenner 3-1-7, Wilson 1-0-2, VanNostrand 1-1-3. Totals: 9-4-23.
Schwab 3-0-6, Veeder 5-3-13, Bowerman 0-2-2, Dearwester 2-0-4, Balfe 2-0-6, Dillenbeck 4-0-8, Kane 2-0-6. Totals: 18-5-45.
3-point goals: Northville 1 (Lyndsey Wadsworth); Canajoharie 4 (Lauren Balfe 2, Alexis Kane 2).