February 07, 2014

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Maryvale steps ahead of Depew with division win

Ed Smith and Maryvale ran away from division rival Depew in ECIC III action on Thursday. (Photo by Jeffrey T. Barnes)

BY: Mike Pidanick, Metro Source | February 07, 2014

With seeding in the Section VI Class A-2 playoffs and positioning in the ECIC-III standings at stake, every game is big down the stretch for the Maryvale High School boys basketball team.

So even though rival Depew came to town shorthanded on Thursday night, the Flyers were very pleased to walk away with a big victory.

Maryvale used a strong defensive performance and an offensive explosion in the third quarter in an 81-64 win over the Wildcats on Senior Night.

"A win is a win is a win," Maryvale coach Mark Kensy said. "We're all fighting for playoff seeding; we've been on that short end too with injuries, too."

The Wildcats played without senior star Derrick Sekuterski, who could miss the rest of the regular season with a foot injury. In addition to that, 6-foot-5 center Mike Lamb battled foul trouble for much of the evening.

Meanwhile, the Flyers' senior big guns came up big. Logan Jung led all scorers with 26 points, while Ed Smith added 23 points and 6 rebounds and Jaylyn Putman contributed 16 points and 6 assists.

The fourth senior on the roster, forward Jonathan O'Neil, also delighted the large home crowd with a late bucket.

Maryvale scored 50 points in the second half to put away what had been a close game.

"When you give up 80 points, you're going to lose games, that's what it boils down to," Depew coach Larry Jones said. "Bottom line, we didn't play well defensively."

The Wildcats won the first meeting on Jan. 22 by a 72-62 count in Depew. It looked like more of the same was in store early as the Wildcats used an early 12-1 run to grab a nine-point lead. But the Flyers responded with a 20-4 spurt and held a four-point halftime lead.

The third quarter was all Maryvale. Jung scored 11 points in the period as the Flyers opened up a lead as big as 17 points. The advantage got as high as 20 in the fourth quarter.

The Flyers (10-6, 8-4 ECIC-III) have now won seven of nine ahead of next Tuesday�s showdown against rival Cheektowaga Central, which is 7-3 and in second place in ECIC�III.

�I�ve always felt we were a good team,� Kensy said. �This was our best offensive game of the year. We got three kids in double-figures, I�ll take that for sure.�

The Wildcats fell to 7-7 overall and 6-4 in the league. Depew will travel to East Aurora on 2:30 p.m. Saturday for a make-up ECIC-III game.

The Wildcats will try to move forward without one of the league�s elite players. Although Depew hopes to have him back for the postseason, Sekuterski, a five-year varsity standout, will be sorely missed down the stretch.

�It is what it is,� Jones said. �You have a team for a reason and other guys are going to have to step up and play well.�

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