Williamsville South defeats host St. Mary's in ECIC-MMAA Challenge
Williamsville South built a 21-point first-half lead and then held on for a 55-50 win over tournament host St. Mary's in the final day of the three-day tournament.
"I think it was a little carryover from last night," Williamsville South coach Gabe Michael said, referring to Tuesday's game against rival Williamsville East. "We had a great second half (against the Flames), but today I think we got a little tired in the second half. We were dead at the end."
Indeed, the Lancers battled back in the second half. St. Mary's got as close as 53-50 but 3-point tries by Tyler English and Paul Rath were off the mark in the final seconds.
The win capped a strong showing for the public schools in the tournament. The ECIC won all three games on Wednesday and finished the tournament at 8-2. Lackawanna rolled past Christian Central 76-38 and Lancaster cruised to a 58-23 win over Cardinal O'Hara.
And in the first half, Williamsville South looked like it's ready to remain among the better public schools around. The Billies got consecutive 3-pointers from Kam Varner, Sam Castronova and David Isselbaecher midway through the third quarter to take a lead they'd never relinquish. Mike Calandra hit three more treys in the second quarter and the Billies pushed the lead all the way up to 38-17 and led 38-23 at the break.
Castronova led the Billies (4-1) with 14 points, Chaq Nettles added 13 and Calandra nine. Rath led the Lancers (3-2) with 12 points and Quinn Gill added nine.
"I'm happy; we're 4-1," Michael said. "It's a great start to the season, I couldn't ask for anything more."
Lancaster 58, Cardinal O'Hara 23
The Redskins were dominating in picking up their first win of the season. After two tough losses to start the season, Lancaster was in control from start to finish against the Hawks.
"It's very nice to get a win," Lancaster coach John Otto said. "It was a team effort, everybody's working hard from beginning to end. They did everything I asked them to do."
Led by seniors Sean Murray and Jacob Plonka, the Redskins surged out to a 28-12 lead at halftime and kept on rolling in the second half. Murray led all scorers with 16 points and Plonka added 13 for Lancaster.
It was a much better result than the Lancaster Tip-off Tournament, when the Redskins dropped tough games against Maryvale and Cleveland Hill.
"We're a much team than we were a week and a half ago," Otto said. "It shows in practice, the practice level is a lot higher now and it showed tonight."
Jarrett Streitcher had 10 points for Cardinal O'Hara, which fell to 2-4.
Lackawanna 76, Christian Central 38
Damone Sylers scored 24 points to lead the Steelers to their third win in as many games this season. Ahmad Adbo added 14 and Cam Smith 11 for Lackawanna.
Joshua Holmes scored 15 to lead the Crusaders (2-4).