Dec 21, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
With its unbeaten mark and no. 4 state ranking, the Westhill boys basketball team avoided tournaments during the holiday school break and would go 15 days before going back on the court Jan. 7 against Syracuse Academy of Science.
The Warriors hit that long break with a record of 7-0, enhanced first on Friday night when it went to Bishop Grimes and was almost perfect from the free-throw line, something that the Cobras could not overcome as Westhill prevailed 61-45.
Grimes was already short-handed, as star senior forward Tom Steinberg was still recovering from an ankle injury suffered a week earlier in an overtime loss to Solvay. Without Steinberg, the Cobras, once 5-0, had dropped that Solvay game and had also lost at Marcellus on Dec. 17.
Still, Grimes was up for Westhill, hanging close early before Jordan and Ryan Roland, exploiting the Cobras’ zone defense, combined for 10 quick points that stretched the lead to 23-11 early in the second quarter, a margin that mostly held until halftime.
Up 35-24 at the break, the Warriors all but sealed matters with an 18-8 domination of the third quarter, constantly going to the foul line – and constantly converting, going 21-for-22 on free throws by night’s end.
Jeff Lobello was the main beneficiary, sinking all 10 of his foul shots as the junior managed 19 points overall. Jordan Roland got 16 points, with Ryan Roland adding 11 points. Tyler Reynolds, after a one-game absence, returned to action and had nine points. Joe Arrigo (15 points) and Johnny Wike (12 points) led Grimes’ efforts.
Westhill made up a snowed-out Dec. 11 game against Altmar-Parish-Williamstown last Monday and roared past the Rebels 86-37, giving itself a 44-12 lead by halftime and breezing from there.
Each of the 12 Warrior players that saw action got at least one field goal, as Jordan Roland led with 25 points, four assists and four steals. Ryan Roland earned 11 points as Mike Burton got 10 points. Reynolds (eight points), Dan O’Connell (seven points) and Andrew French (six points) were close behind.
Meanwhile, Bishop Ludden, the state’s top-ranked Class A team, tuned up for next weekend’s Rosemary Corcoran Holiday Classic by cruising past Fulton 69-35 to improve its mark to 4-0.
For a half, the Red Raiders did hang close, only trailing 27-22, but that proved illusory as the Gaelic Knights used a 21-8 third-quarter blitz to get away, ultimately outscoring Fulton 42-13 for the half.
Dan Kaigler, with 19 points and nine rebounds, led four Ludden players in double figures. Ben Hackett dished out seven assists to go with his 16 points, while Jack Rauch managed 12 points and Zach Walser added 10 points. Kevin Sierotnik contributed seven points.
Marcellus, fresh off that big win over Bishop Grimes, saw its momentum carry over into another home game against Syracuse Academy of Science, the Mustangs topping the Atoms 75-58.
They were tied, 15-15, when in the second quarter Marcellus started to light up the SAS defense. In the middle two periods, the Mustangs outscored the Atoms 49-28, setting a torrid pace to help climb back to the .500 mark (3-3) for the season.
Mike Hastings led Marcellus, pouring in 23 points, though Wyatt Stehle was close behind as he got 19 points. Mike Dillon’s 15 points included a pair of 3-pointers as Jordan Bandera managed a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds. For SAS, Jason Brower had 19 points and Jesse Murry added 18 points.
Jordan-Elbridge’s struggles continued, though, as it fell to Phoenix 57-50. The Eagles (1-4) took a 28-22 lead to halftime, only to go cold in the third quarter as the Firebirds outscored them 17-8 to move out in front for good.
Zach Wagner, in defeat, managed 12 points, while Ryan Matousek had 11 points. Kyle Matousek added 10 points as Jake Melfi (eight points) and Justin Quinn (six points) were also part of a well-balanced J-E attack. Phoenix, who improved to 4-2, got 14 points from Dylan Doupe and 12 points from Zach Sisera and Connor Haney.