Sports from Buffalo and Western New York
Mount Mercy rebounds with win over Lancers
Sunday February 9, 2014 | Matthew Ondesko, Metro Source Editor
SOUTH BUFFALO - Mount Mercy Academy jumped out to a 17-7 first quarter lead and never looked back as the Magic defeated St. Mary’s, 50-24, on Saturday... more
W.S. East stays alive for division title with win over Ken-East
Saturday February 8, 2014 | Tom Gallagher, Reporter
The West Seneca East boys hockey team had been waiting for its Feb. 7 home game against Kenmore East since December. “[The Bulldogs] were off to a good... more
Maryvale steps ahead of Depew with division win
Friday February 7, 2014 | Mike Pidanick, Metro Source
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... more
Arena’s work is far from done for Red Devils wrestling
Friday February 7, 2014 | Mike Pidanick, Metro Source
Dylan Arena has accomplished plenty already in his sophomore wrestling season. But the Clarence High School sophomore knows the work is far from done.... more
Sagasta lives up to family tradition in Ken-West pool
Friday February 7, 2014 | Dave Ricci, Sports Reporter
It’s a funny thing, being part of a legacy. In some way, it can certainly open doors for you. But once that door is open, the climb to the top can take... more
Mount Mercy bowling secures second place
Friday February 7, 2014 | Marquel Slaughter, Reporter
Mount Mercy Academy put the icing on the cake of the program’s best season with an impressive finish in the season finale. The Magic placed second at... more
Maryvale’s Christ all-tourney at Roy Sommers; Dudziak rolls 300
Friday February 7, 2014 | Marquel Slaughter, Reporter
Match-by-match, one girl after another has stepped up in the lanes for Maryvale. It was no different at one of the biggest tournaments of the year. Sophomore... more
Morath’s positivity infectious for Tonawanda girls bowling team
Friday February 7, 2014 | Dave Ricci, Sports Reporter
What’s not to like about Michaela Morath? She can instantly brighten any room with her bubbly smile and infectious laugh. “It just kind of comes out,”... more
Lyons providing Lockport with play-making offensive ability
Friday February 7, 2014 | Michael Tellier, Reporter
Will Lyons may not play for a team that’s a serious sectional contender; but that hasn’t discouraged him the least bit. The Lockport hockey team has struggled... more
Lancaster girls basketball looking to turn season around
Friday February 7, 2014 | Mike Pidanick, Metro Source
The Lancaster High School girls basketball team has had some obstacles to overcome in recent weeks. But the Redskins are still battling and looking to... more
St. Mary’s passes test from fellow MMAA foe Cardinal O’Hara
Friday February 7, 2014 | Mike Pidanick, Metro Source
St. Mary’s knew it would be in for a challenge as it headed to Cardinal O’Hara for a Monsignor Martin Athletic Association game against the rival small-school... more
Ciezki goes off in second half in leading Cheektowaga to sweep of Amherst
Thursday February 6, 2014 | Marquel Slaughter, Reporter
A resurgent Warriors’ basketball team dropped the defending divisional champion once again on its’ quest to end a 50-year title drought. Cheektowaga used... more
Attention to detail helps Kenmore to third straight girls hockey title
Thursday February 6, 2014 | Michael J. Petro
Attention to detail has been stressed by the Kenmore girls hockey team all season long. It was a subtle change in positioning on a late-game faceoff that... more
Lancaster/Iroquois girls hockey a hit, team advances to final
Thursday February 6, 2014 | Mike Pidanick, Metro Source
When Lancaster and Iroquois decided to join forces for girls hockey prior to this season, the new-look program knew improvement was going to seen. But... more
Freshman sensation has Cheektowaga closing in on top spot
Wednesday February 5, 2014 | Metro Source Staff
The significant leap of the team’s youngest player has the Cheektowaga boys basketball team in a position where it hasn’t been in a while. Dominick Welch... more
Nichols School's Iafallo ready to succeed at Ohio State University
NORTH BUFFALO - Making the right choice for college is always a hard decision for anybody – let alone a student-athlete. Many factors come in to play including academics, playing time, coaches and just an overall right fit. For Nichols School’s Julianna Iafallo the recruiting process was a pretty easy one. As soon as she visited The Ohio State University, Iafallo knew she was home. “Ohio State was the first place I visited,” said Iafallo. “Ever since I first stepped on the campus I loved it. From the coach, to the team, the entire atmosphere of the campus, it was just the perfect fit for me.” It has been a pretty interesting journey for the Eden native. She plays her hockey for the Buffalo...
Kenmore East hockey settles into division’s top spot
When the 2013-14 Western New York Federation ice hockey season got underway, few probably predicted that the Kenmore East Bulldogs would be at the top of Division II as the calender rolled into the final week of January. But that’s exactly where the Bulldogs are. As Kenmore East went into the final week of the month, the team was sporting a 10-1-2 record for 22 points and in first place, just ahead of rival Hamburg, which has 20 points. West Seneca East and Williamsville East also find themselves near the top of the division standings. Coach Kyle Pray said the best part of the team’s success has been that contributions have come from all facets of the lineup. Senior forward Rob McNamara leads...
Timon hockey, Fields on top of their game down stretch
Connor Fields lost the first game this season against Orchard Park to a suspension. The senior had a field day over the weekend to make up for his absence one month ago. The top goal scorer in Western New York netted a career best five goals, along with recording an assist, to steer Timon to its seventh victory in a row in a 7-2 triumph over Orchard Park on Jan. 25. Fields received a game misconduct the contest prior to the first meeting with the Quakers on Dec. 29, but the Tigers still came out on top, 4-2. Fields accounted for 10 goals in a matter of three days. He worked a hat trick and an assist in Timon’s 6-1 win over Clarence on Jan. 23. “He has great eye-hand coordination. I’ve never...
Hollins may get even better for Marauders
Justin Hollins has had a pretty memorable season on the basketball court so far. But St Joe’s coach Mark Simon knows there is still more to get out of his talented senior. Simon knows that Hollins has something special inside that can take him to another level. Hollins knows it, too. “Main thing is (coach Simon) wanted me to be a leader,” Hollins said. “He pretty much expects me to do a little bit of every thing. Be a leader. Lead the team.” In his second season of varsity with the Marauders, Hollins has been posting some of the most eye-popping offensive numbers in the Monsignor Martin Athletic Association. But offense has just been one side of Hollins’ blazing start. While Hollins has lit...
LaJoy’s perfect game highlights Warriors’ division-title clincher
It was dead silent at Thruway Lanes on the evening of Jan. 15 after Jerry Carroll said two words that strike bowlers like a “no swimming, sharks sighted” would to swimmers and surfers. “Nobody Bowl,” Carroll announced. Cheektowaga’s boys bowling coach said those words after Connor LaJoy’s 11th shot in the second game of a match against John F. Kennedy — he was one more ball away from perfection. The senior kegler had come too far to let anything stop his Roto Grip Wrecker from rolling down the lane 60 feet and knocking down all 10 pins for a 12th straight time. LaJoy met perfection in Cheektowaga’s 7-0 victory over JFK, as he bowled a 300 and a 722 set. “I usually mess up in the sixth or...
NT looks to second chance to face Falls, in first-place match
It’s all or nothing. The matchup on Feb. 4 won’t be just another Niagara Frontier League contest for the North Tonawanda Ladyjacks bowling team. The Jacks will have their shot at redemption when they host Niagara Falls starting 4 p.m. at the Tonawanda Bowling Center in a meeting that will crown the 2013-14 NFL champion. “Yeah that match decides who comes in first and who comes in second,” noted NT senior Cassidy Powers. “We’ve been battling Niagara Falls for the past four years and it always comes down to the last match.” The Jacks, who are 11-1 as of press time, will not only be looking to even the score after a Dec. 19 loss to the Wolverines, they will also focus on beating the team that...
Warriors track and field showcases ability at Yale
Rich Bridenbaker and Ken McCracken were anxious to see how their crew would compete at one of the largest meets in the country a few weekends ago, and what they thought would be the highlight of their season, from just the experience alone, was trumped by a handful of top-notch performances. Cheektowaga’s indoor track and field team traveled to Connecticut on Jan. 17-20 to compete against more than 300 schools at Yale University. Not only did the Warriors come out with six new school records and another mark that was tied, but they had two place finishers as well. Tim Whelan, Kobe Walenka, Jack Behlmaier and Noah McGhee took the cake that weekend, winning the gold medal in the 4x400-meter relay...
Lancaster wrestling loses Border Brawl, but remains a WNY power
It was supposed to be a down year for the Lancaster High School wrestling team, but the WNY-power Redskins knew better than that. Even though a pair of state finalists were lost to graduation, the young Redskins remained competitive against the best big-school competition. “We’re still good,” Lancaster coach Ron Lorenz said. “The kids are working hard. We’re looking forward to the postseason.” Lancaster has several wrestlers with high aspirations for the postseason, none bigger than those of James Empfield. After earning a trip to the big meet a year ago, he’s hoping for a championship this season. And the way he’s been wrestling lately, it seems possible. “Empfield’s on a good pace and...
Starpoint falls short of Hamburg on Spartans' Wall of Fame induction night
The Hamburg boys basketball team was able to use a distinct size advantage to create a number of second-chance opportunities but for most of the night, those opportunities weren't having much impact on the scoreboard against a gritty Starpoint team. When it mattered most, however, the Bulldogs got the inside bucket they needed for a big ECIC-II win. Jeremiah Bill's bucket in the paint with 2:25 left in the fourth quarter put the Bulldogs ahead to stay as Hamburg posted a 45-42 win over the Spartans in a hard-fought league battle on Friday (Jan. 31) night. "They have a big, physical team and that's a tough match-up for us," Starpoint coach Ben Scaffidi said. "That's a tough match-up for us....
Boling helps Tonawanda hold off Eden
It was the kind of game that shows you — win or lose — what you're made of. Tristan Boling had a game-high 28 points as Tonawanda outlasted Eden 52-45 in ECIC IV basketball action Friday (Jan. 31) at Tonawanda's George H. Miller Gym. Early on it looked as if Tonawanda would run away with the game as senior point guard Ben Stich, who finished with 11 points and 7 assists, connected on a trio of outside shots and Boling sank 10 of his 28 in a first quarter that saw the Warriors hold a commanding 21-7 lead. But even though Tonawanda improved to 6-3 in ECIC IV and 9-6 overall, the team admitted afterward to not being as sharp in its execution. Though both teams were the victims of some...
Orchard Park hockey evens it up with Niagara Wheatfield
The Orchard Park hockey team refused to go away, and because of it, the Quakers earned a 3-3 tie with Niagara-Wheatfield in a game that pitted the third- and second-place teams, respectively, among public large schools in the Western New York Federation. The Quakers had an answer three times for Niagara Wheatfield goals on Thursday, Jan. 30 at the Northtown Center in Amherst. The Falcons finished a game tied for a third time this month and are now 1-3-3 in January, after such a hot start to the season. “We can’t afford to sit back on our heels and just play defense when we get a lead,” Niagara Wheatfield head coach Ryan Coyne said. “We have to continue to be aggressive. When we lay back and...
Lions boys hoops holds off Blue Devils to move into tie for first
There would be no late heroics this time around for the Kenmore West boys basketball team. The Blue Devils, who just two days before pulled off a miraculous last-minute comeback to remain unbeaten in the Niagara Frontier League, could not catch up to preseason league favorite Lockport on Friday (Jan. 23) night. The host Lions held on for a 55-49 win to move into a first-place tie with West, each now with one division loss. West also had a comeback to win in the first matchup between the two teams. “It definitely has that significance but there’s also a lot of season left to go,” said Lockport head coach Dan Gilson, whose team improved to 10-3 overall (9-1 in the NFL). “I’m trying to have the...
O’Hara’s Edwards back and better than ever after health scare
Keyonte Edwards knew something wasn’t right. Now a senior in her fourth season with the Cardinal O’Hara Lady Hawks basketball team, Edwards is primed to have her best season yet and help the team return to the State Federation Tournament. She wants not only win this time around but also erase the memory of what cut her junior season short. Helping O’Hara capture its second straight Catholic state title, Edwards saw her season come to an abrupt end when a blood clot resulted in her right shoulder and arm becoming severely swollen and hard. “It was really crazy. I kept telling coach (Dan) McDermott my arm was hurting when we did the shooting machine,” Edwards recalled. “I’m a big jokester...
Cheektowaga places three at ECICs, ‘Nardo’ repeats as champ
Another milestone was set by Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer last weekend as he led a trio of Warriors that placed at the ECIC Championships at Lake Shore. Coach Matt Haberl saw all three of his seniors — Rodriguez-Spencer, Matt Bartnik and John Loncher — place lat the tournament on Jan. 17-18, including two who wrestled for a championship. Rodriguez-Spencer, a co-captain, became the first Warrior in school history to capture his fourth ECIC title. He pinned Iroquois Matt Kloc in about a minute-and-a-half in the 145-pound championship bout. He won his first ECIC championship as an eighth grader, then repeated as a sophomore and junior, but missed his freshman year of wrestling. “Going into it this...
Mara makes a splash as senior newcomer on wrestling mat
It was far from easy. And, frankly, some days he felt like giving up. But he didn’t. No matter how tough it got, Chris Mara stuck with it and earned his stripes. Now, Mara can proudly proclaim: I am a wrestler. A Tonawanda High School senior, Mara, who was a stand out for the Warriors football team, decided he wanted to cap off his final year of scholastic sports with a new challenge. So, at the urging of co-captain and close friend Tim Barnard, Mara made his first journey into the wrestling practice room. “Yeah Timmy and his dad have been getting on me since [football camp],” Mara said. “And since this was my senior year, I just wanted to give it a try.” Longtime friends and teammates on...
St. Mary’s using balanced scoring to become a top small school
St. Mary’s might not have that No. 1 go-to superstar but the Lancers don’t seem to need one. Every night, it seems a different player steps into a starring role. That balance has been big for the Lancers, who are one of the top small school teams in Western New York once again. “We’ve got a pretty balanced lineup and that excites us,” senior forward Matt Wrobel said. “Any one of us can go for 20 on any night. That’s good to have. We like to work the ball around and we know everyone is capable of scoring.” With Wrobel and last year’s leading scorer, senior Alex English, doing the damage inside and seniors Dione Strong and Latrell Tyson excelling at guard, St. Mary’s has proven to have an...
Buono helps Depew open some eyes as team improves
Chelsea Buono is enjoying another strong season for the Depew High School girls basketball team. But the Wildcats’ senior guard is finally seeing the success on the scoreboard, as well. After struggling to find its winning ways in recent years, the Wildcats have opened some eyes in ECIC-III this season. And their third-year starting point guard sees even better things ahead for Depew. “I think we’re going to be even better going forward,” she said. “We’re really starting to show other teams that we’re good.” The Wildcats opened 2014 by winning two of three and included a 58-57 win over defending Section VI champion Pioneer on Jan. 16. “We’re way better than last year,” Buono said. “I think...
Nodine helps Starpoint boys hoops head in right direction
The Starpoint High School boys basketball team took the long trip to Elma on Jan. 9 and battled toe-to-toe with ECIC-II contender Iroquois all the way down to the wire before coming up short. Not a bad showing for a Spartans team that won just one game a year ago. But perhaps the best indicator of the team’s feeling was the mood of the Starpoint players heading into the locker room. Moral victories are not acceptable for Starpoint. “I’m happy to see the kids weren’t real excited about the result,” Spartans’ coach Ben Scaffidi said. “Every time we come out now, we’re expecting to do good things.” The Spartans finished last season at 1-18, dropping 18 in a row after a season-opening win...
Falcons’ basketball trying to fight through offensive woes
Offensive problems continued for the Niagara Wheatfield boys basketball team on Tuesday, Jan. 21 in a 45-29 loss at home to Lewiston-Porter. Denzel Fuller led all Niagara Wheatfield scorers with 8 points, and Nathan Williams added 7. Zach Keegan led the way for the Lancers with 13 points. Lew-Port improved to 5-3 in the Niagara Frontier League and 7-3 overall, while Niagara Wheatfield fell to (0-9, 2-10). “It was a pretty ugly game today, but I think the guys fought hard and we will continue to get better,” said Niagara Wheatfield head coach Erik O’Bryan. “We have a really young team here, and right now we need to continue to just fight every game and do the little things right.” The Falcons...
Short-handed Lions hockey team falls to St. Francis
With only two lines to work with all game long, the Lockport boys hockey team was not able to overcome a dominant three-goal second period by St. Francis in losing 5-3 on Jan. 16 at the Hyde Park Ice Pavilion. Forwards Zach Long, William Lyons and defenseman Brad Nedialowski had goals for Lockport, which fell to 2-7-1 in the division and 3-7-1 overall. Forward Jonathan Flores had two goals and Cory Schneid, Brett Bosinski and Mason Coleman all chipped in a goal as well in St. Francis’ second division win. “I really thought we were going to get the win tonight,” said Lockport head coach Rick Eberhart. “I give my guys a lot of credit though. We only played with two lines all game since we have...
South Park boys hoops unable to find winning formula
The Sparks find themselves on a losing streak, as the boys basketball team has yet to find a way to build off of positive performances to get on a run. The latest loss to Bennett, 64-51, on Saturday (Jan. 18) morning has dropped the Sparks to a 3-5 overall. “We can’t play four quarters of basketball,” said Ron Killinger, who coaches the boys with Major Crawford. “Today, we only had a decent first half.” Tyler Mascio had 14 points to lead South Park. Keion Godson added 13 and Austin Peach scored 12 for the Sparks. South Park held the lead early on, ending the first stanza with a 17-15 advantage before finding itself down 31-28 at the half. Bennett’s lead ballooned to 49-36 after three and...
Schedule tough on Clarence girls basketball
A tough schedule has led to some tough results for the Clarence High School girls basketball team. But the Red Devils are starting to find their groove and they hope to be a force down the stretch and into the postseason. “We’re starting to get a lot of confidence,” junior forward Gabbi Pacatte said. “I think now that we’ve come together as a team, we’re going to be competition for some of the harder teams in our league.” Clarence started the season with a trip to defending ECIC-I and Class AA Section VI championship and in the first two weeks of the season also had competitive losses to a strong Williamsville North team and a still undefeated Frontier club. But the Red Devils kept plugging...
Young Kenmore East bowling teams making a move
As the second half of the NFL bowling season kicked off the Kenmore East boys and girls bowling teams, though one of the youngest in the league, have shown that they are confident that they can provide a challenge to any team in the league. As the first round of action wrapped up in the Niagara Frontier League, Bulldogs coach David Zajac said that after seeing every opponent once he felt his teams are better prepared from a mental standpoint. “I do think that they are a little more settled from the mental aspect,” Zajac said during a match in which his boys’ A-team threw a early scare into unbeaten defending champs Niagara-Wheatfield. “I think that they’re still grasping the whole spares...
Short-handed Cleveland Hill bowling pulls off first win of season
Coming back after a hiatus from coaching, Dan McNess finds himself with a ton of youth and potential talent in the lanes. Now in his sixth year, McNess returns to coaching the Cleveland Hill bowling teams after being gone for four years, and recently he won his first match of the decade. The boys won their first match of the year Thursday against Alden, 4-3, winning by the total pins advantage. “This match the team showed a lot of spirit because we were missing a few guys that are normally on the ‘A’ team for another school function,” said McNess, whose team improved to 1-6. “I didn’t know how the other guys would do, but they kicked it up and came out with a win.” Jason Maurer and Gary Aquila...
Tonawanda girls bowling team starts season 7-0
The Lady Warriors better start thinking about making space for yet another championship banner. Just past the halfway point of the scholastic bowling season, the Tonawanda girls team is the owner of a perfect record and poised to repeat as ECIC Small School North champions. “I think it’s definitely about our communication,” said co-captain Michaela Morath. “We talk about what’s going on. We try to help each other a lot.” The Warriors have leaned on Morath and fellow co-captain Hannah Mussell, who have done a solid job in keeping the team confident and focused. “They definitely set the example of how things are and to stay calm,” said coach Gina Maduri, whose team improved to 7-0 after beating...
Staschak becomes ‘real deal’ for Wheatfield girls bowling
Marissa Staschak was just looking for a new hobby. Something fun she could do with her friends after school and on weekends. What she ended up finding was her passion and true athletic calling. A freshman in her third season with the Niagara-Wheatfield Lady Falcons bowling team, Staschak has proven herself to be a force on the alleys and one of the brightest young talents in Western New York. And it all came from pretty humble, uneventful beginnings. “I just really wanted to do something with my friends,” Staschak said. “And that was one of the sports that we were all able to get into and do together.” Staschak, now 14, got her first taste of the game in third grader. As time went on, one-by-one,...
Dry adjusts to new coach at Lockport, both with the same goals in common
Inspiration can come in several different ways. An athlete may look to their parents or siblings for guidance when they need help. For Lockport girls basketball player Gretta Dry, inspiration came from her former head basketball coach Bill Shaw. However, since Shaw, the longtime Lockport coach, is no longer the girls basketball coach, Dry has worked on adjusting to her new coach, Karen Catalano. “Coach Shaw was the one person who showed me how fun basketball could be,” Dry said. “I really wasn’t sure if I was interested in playing high school basketball when I started out. He really turned me around. I knew that one day I wanted to play for him, and I wanted to be coached by him.” Since...
Redskin swimmers start school’s effort to fundraise for local family in need
It was a day to celebrate the contributions of the six seniors on the Lancaster High School swimming and diving team. Yet, that same day, those six to be recognized, along with assistant coach Jeff Petherick, were leading the team charge to bring attention to another cause. Rob Nowicki, Jesse Yale, Adam Pomietlarz, Sam Carwile, Tom Fritton and Zach Miller had no problem with sharing their Senior Day in the Lancaster pool on Friday (Jan. 17) with a fundraiser to assist a family in the community that lost nearly everything in a house fire the day after Christmas. In fact, it was their idea. Petherick said the six knew that it being Senior Day would draw more attention to Friday’s meet against...
Ken West’s Hussar leading the way on the lanes
Coming into the new season, second-year Kenmore West bowling coach Larry Monahan said he’d be counting on senior Ryan Hussar. And Hussar hasn’t let his coach, or his team, down. Hussar and fellow captain Jason Stopka have done well in trying to cultivate not only the skill but the confidence of the team’s youth, like Kevin Washington and Chris Piersa, according to Monahan. “It’s really impressive what I’ve seen and I just hope for the best for them,” Hussar said of his teammates. “They just need to listen to instructions a little, be more consistent and then they’ll go even higher.” Monahan said he couldn’t ask for a better leader than Hussar. “His average speaks for itself. He’s a quality...
Monsignor Martin hockey getting hot down the stretch
Even if its record is not important to the Monsignor Martin girls hockey team, it means a little something to the team’s ultimate goals that it has caught fire late in the season. Improving to a 5-2-2 mark, the Monsignor Martin girls hockey team — which includes nine skaters from Mount Mercy Academy — have won four of its last five games to get back in sync. The team has capitalized on a busy schedule that included three games in four nights. “Honestly, I don’t look at the record,” said first-year head coach Linda Mroz. “I really don’t. How I look at it is in the beginning of the season we have certain goals and are we meeting them.” The girls have outscored their opponents 24-10 in those...