Portville to play Southwestern for Class B title in girls basketball

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — It will be a Southern Tier showdown in the Section VI Class B girls basketball championship Wednesday night at Buffalo State Sports Arena.

Portville and Southwestern won sectional titles Sunday to set up the crossover matchup that will decide who advances to Far West Regionals. In the B2 final, Portville pounded Wilson, 51-29, to win its second title in three years, but first in Class B. Southwestern then defended its B2 crown with a 50-27 thumping of East Aurora to win its sixth title in eight seasons.

“I’m super excited right now,” said senior guard Reece Beaver, who has played on five of those championship teams. “This team has worked so hard. We deserve everything we are getting right now. I’m hoping we can build on this win going into the crossover Wednesday.”

Beaver, the section’s top scorer, led Southwestern (16-7) with 24 points and became the sixth player in Western New York history with more than 2,400 in her career.

“It means a lot more now,” said Beaver, a Daemen University recruit. “I’m thinking every game I go into could be my last. It’s a scary feeling, but it’s also helping me play better and really appreciate the moments with this team,” which includes younger sisters Braya and Charlotte.

“I’ve won sectional championships before,” Beaver said. “But I’ve never won a crossover. So it’s always been something I want to do, and it’s been a goal of mine to go to regionals, forever. So I’m really hoping this is the year.”

Portville (17-6) got 14 points apiece from Ava Haynes, Jackie Scanlon and Lillian Bentley in its title game triumph. Haynes’ defense on Wilson standout Rian Faery also was key to victory.

“One of the best defenders I’ve ever seen,” Portville coach Inga Welty said.

“It’s just exciting for the kids,” Welty said. “They work hard. They’re a great group. High intellect kids and high character kids. When you work hard and come out on a winning end, it feels good.

“Plus the fact that we were up a division. New court, this is new for us, a couple of the girls have practiced here for AAU but none of them have had the opportunity to play on this court, so pretty special.”

Beaver noted that a sectional final at Jamestown Community College, where the Class C and D championships are decided, might’ve attracted a bigger crowd for the Southern Tier teams, but playing at Buff State “is a really cool atmosphere.”

The two teams split their regular season meetings, with Portville winning 67-62 at home in December, and Southwestern winning 58-41 in January.

“This time, it’s going to be the mindset of: let’s go in and play the way we did when we won,” Southwestern coach Kay Sirriani said. “We just need the mindset that we are the better team on Wednesday night.”


Jonah Bronstein joined the WIVB squad in 2022 as a digital sports reporter. The Buffalonian has covered the Bills, Sabres, Bandits, Bisons, colleges, high schools and other notable sporting events in Western New York since 2005, for publications including The Associated Press, The Buffalo News, and Niagara Gazette. Read more of his work here.

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