Fulton, Tigers defeat Kenmore West in ECIC-MMAA Challenge
That proved to be exactly what Timon needed to get rolling. The Tigers were much better in the second half and went on to a 65-59 win over Kenmore West in the final game of Monday's quadruple header of the ECIC-MMAA Challenge at St. Mary's High School.
"Honestly, I was kind of surprised it went in," Fulton said. "But that was the boost we needed heading into the lockerroom."
The Tigers were in control for most of the second half and took the lead for the first time on a pair of Manny Welch free throws with 5:37 left in the third. They pushed the lead to 45-40 by the end of the third and never trailed in the fourth.
The win was the only one of the day for the MMAA. Cheektowaga Central opened the tournament with a 60-57 win over Niagara Catholic, Iroquois rallied for a 62-56 win over Walsh and Sweet Home shook off a shaky start and went on to a 63-52 win over Nichols.
Not only did Timon prevent an 0-4 day for the MMAA, the Tigers also avoided an 0-4 start for themselves after losses to three strong teams to start the season.
Fulton and Welch scored 15 points apiece for the Tigers. Demone Harris added 14 and Donte Williams 13 in the win.
The Blue Devils were paced by Shay Cuandra's 15 points and Quinton Campbell's 14.
Sweet Home 63, Nichols 52
The Panthers didn't start well, but a strong finish was more than enough to make up for that.
After falling down by as many as nine in the first quarter, Sweet Home took the lead with a 17-2 run in the first half. Nichols battled back to take the lead but five straight points by Mike Torrillo put the Panthers up to stay. Sweet Home closed the game on a 14-3 run, thanks in large part to 9-of-12 free throw shooting in the final period.
"They came out in the fourth and tried to go zone against us," Sweet Home coach Scott Martin said. "That was key, the way we executed against their zone and didn't let it baffle us.”
Klalid Barnes led the Panthers with 15 points. Christopher Miner had 12 for Nichols.
Iroquois 62, Walsh 56
The Chiefs scored the game's final 10 points to beat the Eagles, thanks to a strong defensive surge in the final minute.
"A the end, we won with our strong zone press," Iroquois coach Sean Lauber said. "We had to work on our pressure and not allowing the ball past half-court. Once we did that, it was a whole different scenario."
Walsh took a 56-52 lead on back-to-back 3-pointers by Adam Moore and Jake Chapman with about two minutes to play. But Phillip Bowen responded a 3-point play and then Matt Keating gave Iroquois the lead with a layup off of a backcourt steal. Nate Wikinson sealed the deal with the final five points of the game, pushing his total to 27 for the evening.
Bowen added 12 points for the Chiefs. Moore scored 17 points to lead Walsh.
Cheektowaga 60, Niagara Catholic 57
Zak Ciezki scored 21 points to lead the Warriors to a three-point win in the first of 10 games in the three-day tournament.
Taj Habeeb-Collins added 14 and Preston Summers tossed in 12 for the Warriors. Jonathan Jackson led all scorers with 20 points for NC.