MOUNT MORRIS — If the old adage that defense wins championships rings true, the Pavilion girls basketball team could be well on its way to making a run at a New York State Class C title.
The Class C2 champion Golden Gophers stymied Class C1 champion Oakfield-Alabama all night, while Pavilion got solid efforts from Lauren Kingsley and Karlee Zinkievich as it rolled past the Hornets 43-22 on Tuesday night at Mount Morris High School.
Pavilion moved to 22-3 on the season and it will now meet Section VI champion Randolph on Saturday at 3 p.m.in the Class C Far West Regional final at Buffalo State University. Randolph is 19-4 on the year.
Kingsley finished the night with a game-high 18 points to go with five steals and four assists, while Kingsley added 12 points, eight rebounds and six blocks in the win.
Kingsley got Pavilion started with a bucket in the paint seconds into the game and the Gophers would never trail from there. A jumper from Kylie Conway a minute into the first quarter then started the Gophers on a 10-0 run as they grabbed a 12-2 lead with just under two minutes to play in the opening frame. Kingsley and Makayla Washburn each scored four points during the run.
Emma Wray hit two-of-three free throws to stem the tide, but Pavilion would still hold a 14-6 lead after one.
Caitlin Ryan scored on a drive to the bucket to close the lead to eight, while it snapped a run of over seven minutes for O-A without a made field goal.
Both teams would scuffle a bit offensively in the second quarter but again the Pavilion defense would shine. The Gophers held the Hornets to just one made field goal — a bucket in the lane from Ryan off of a beautiful dish from Piper Hyde — over the first five minutes of the frame as they eventually extended their lead to 22-10 on a Washburn jumper.
Alea Groff hit a pair of jumpers within a span of 30 seconds later in the quarter for O-A but the closet it could get was at 22-12 with 2:30 left in the half.
Zinkievich — who had just five points in the opening half — drilled a 3-pointer with just over a minute to play before the break and Pavilion had a commanding 26-12 advantage with 16 minutes to play.
Kingsley led the way for the Gophers in the first half with all 12 of her points on the night.
Zinkievich would then almost single-handedly put the game away on her own in the third.
Following a bucket from Conway on the break two minutes into the second half, Zinkievich reeled off five straight points and another triple from the senior guard later on had the lead out to 36-13 with just over two minutes to play in the frame.
Zinkievich drilled her third three of the night with just 15 seconds left in the third and Pavilion was well on its way, up 39-17.
Zinkievich scored 11 points in the third quarter.
Washburn added eight points for the Golden Gophers, while Conway filled the stat sheet with five points, four steals and four rebounds.
A Washburn jumper had the Pavilion lead out to 41-17 and the closest the Hornets would get the rest of the way was at 19.
Oakfield-Alabama finished its championship season at 20-4.
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