Weekly Feature



2018-02-08 / Sports

Fischer reaches 1,000 career points in girls basketball win

Sports Reporter
TAYLOR NIGRELLI


Orchard Park senior Samantha Fischer finishes a lay-up strong during the Lady Quakers win over Frontier Monday. Fischer scored her 1,000th career point late in the third quarter. 
Photo by Jake French Orchard Park senior Samantha Fischer finishes a lay-up strong during the Lady Quakers win over Frontier Monday. Fischer scored her 1,000th career point late in the third quarter. Photo by Jake French Orchard Park senior Samantha Fischer accomplished an impressive feat Monday night. The star forward scored her 1,000th career point in a 64-29 win over Frontier. She needed 19 points to reach the feat and she scored exactly that many in the game.

Late in the third quarter, she went up with a shot and was fouled. She sunk both free throws to get to quadruple digits. It was another important step in a journey that began five years ago.

Fischer was brought up to JV as an eighth-grader because of her height, but wasn’t quite as polished as she became. Gary Janas, who was the JV coach at that point, recognized her potential.

“She had a lot of height for that age, but it was all in her arms and legs at that point,” Janas said. “She didn’t have coordination yet. She had to grow into her body. She did pretty well in her first year, but did not start.”

After she started on JV as a freshman, she moved up to varsity as a sophomore while Janas was also brought up as the new JV coach. She took off in her first year on varsity, averaging 16.2 points and 11 rebounds per game while leading the team to the sectional final at Buffalo State College.

“The thing I always saw with her was her willingness to learn,” Janas said. “She would take any suggestion and listen.

She played guard when she was younger and I was teaching her to play forward. She didn’t know how to play with her back to the basket. She learned how to do that through eighth and ninth grade then things really took off.”

She dropped to around 15 points per game her junior year as teams began to focus more on her. But she’s having her best season yet as a senior. She’s averaging 17.3 points and 11 rebounds per game. Meanwhile, she’s led the team to a 15-1 record overall and 7-1 in league play. She’s not a loud, vocal lead, but she sets an example for all teammates to follow.


Emily Henrich of Orchard Park hits nothing but net on uncontested shot in the Lady Quakers win over Frontier Monday. 
Photo by Jake French Emily Henrich of Orchard Park hits nothing but net on uncontested shot in the Lady Quakers win over Frontier Monday. Photo by Jake French “She’s a quiet leader, she was never much of a ‘rah rah’ type. She is mentally focused before each game and always steps up when called upon,” Janas said. “When you need her to take the game over, she can do that. She has the same attitude and mindset regardless of whether she is being double and triple teamed or whether they are calling fouls when girls are all over her. She always stays focused. She studies her playbook and watches film, she’s a coach’s dream. She does whatever we ask and doesn’t complain. That’s the type of person she is. That’s why I know she will be successful playing in college as well as academically and in her future.”

The victory over Frontier Monday served as a nice bounce back for Fischer and the Lady Quakers. The team suffered its first loss of the season Thursday at Lancaster, 52-47.

The team was ahead 12-11 after one quarter, but began to fall behind in the second. It was 26-19 at halftime and 38-31 at the end of the third quarter. The Lady Quaker offense stalled in the fourth quarter as Lancaster opened up a 13-point lead, fueled by turnovers and open shots.

“Our entry passes were weak,” Janas said. “We missed a ton of outside shots. At one point, we were 2-14 shooting from the outside. That allowed their defense to stay back and concentrate on the double team with Sam. We’re either making or missing our shots, that’s what it’s going to come down to. We’re usually going to be fine if we can make a couple outside shots. Yesterday, we missed a ton.

“We also missed seven uncontested lay-ups. We should have 100 percent accuracy on those. That took 14 points off the board for us. It was the tale of two games from that respect as well. But my hat is off to Lancaster. They had an effective approach and we didn’t capitalize on our opportunities enough. They wanted the game more than we did and they won it fair and square. They kept their foot on the gas the whole game and dug their heels in, especially on defense.”

The Lady Quakers fought back in the final quarter. A three-pointer by Lily Flannery, two free throws from Fischer and a two from Flannery put the team within five. But a Lancaster 8-0 run extended the lead back out to 13. But Danielle Hore hit an and-one to make it 50-40, then Fischer hit one free throw, Jenna Probst made two foul shots and Hore also hit two from the charity stripe to again put the Lady Quakers within five. But a turnover and Lancaster basket put the game out of reach.

“We would get within like three and then an entry pass would get picked off because of a lazy pass or we would miss a wide-open opportunity in the paint,” Janas said. “I think all of those misses shocked the girls because usually they all go in. We were a little bit slow in transition so they would be able to score off of our misses and go back up four or five. Then we’d miss another and they would score again. It was some failed opportunities. We could have won, but I don’t know if we should have won. It’s something we have to learn from. We have to push forward and get ready for the next game.”

The team took on Williamsville North Wednesday in a game that did not end by press time. They’ll travel to North for a second game against the Lady Spartans Friday.

email: tnigrelli@beenews.com

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