Far from home, the Liverpool boys basketball team’s journey through the 2013-14 season started, with every intention to join the short list of Section III Class AA title contenders.
A season ago, the Warriors made it to the sectional tournament and gave itself a great chance to knock off no. 2 seed Henninger in the quarterfinal round, only to lose 57-53 and then watch as the Black Knights went on to claim the sectional title.
Now in his second full season as head coach, Matt Jacob brings back a deep, talented roster, and to test them, he brought the Warriors to Niagara Falls last weekend to participate in the Cataract Classic against a pair of Section VI foes.
Liverpool started last Friday night against Depew, and that turned into quite a showcase for the Warriors’ defense, who proved stifling in a 53-37 victory over the Wildcats.
Neither side impressed much early, but it was Liverpool, trailing 10-8 after one period, taking charge in the second quarter, outscoring Depew 14-5 to move in front for good.
By the time they reached the final period, it was 35-23, and while the Wildcats did get some late production, the Warriors still added to its cushion.
Point guard Tyler Sullivan anchored the attack, putting up 11 assists to go with his 11 points. Up front, Caleb Taylor had a double-double of his own, with 11 points and 10 rebounds, while Matt Hunter gained eight points. Justin Capoto and John Marino each finished with six points.
In Saturday’s action, Liverpool took on Sweet Home, another Section VI opponent, and proved just as successful, leading from start to finish as it defeated the Panthers 61-49.
Immediately, the Warriors’ defense made an impact, holding Sweet Home to nine points in the first quarter. Even as the Panthers’ production picked up in the second period, Liverpool did better, extending its lead to 32-22 at the half.