Feb 09, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Moving away from their Feb. 1 showdown, the Westhill boys basketball team, who won, and Bishop Ludden, who lost, both smashed their ensuing opponents.
The Warriors, still atop the state Class B rankings after it conquered Ludden 62-53, returned home last Tuesday night and, against Bishop Grimes, did not even come close to having a letdown, roaring to a 74-42 victory over the Cobras.
Grimes had missed its top player, Tom Steinberg, when it lost at home to Westhill 61-45 on Dec. 20, but even Steinberg’s presence could not make up for the confidence the Warriors had gained in the seven weeks that followed.
That was evident in the second quarter of the rematch. Only ahead by three, 14-11, when it started, Westhill proceeded to smash Grimes in a 27-5 blitz. Combine that with a 20-6 domination of the third quarter, and the Cobras were outscored 47-11 in the middle two periods.
What made it more remarkable was that Jordan Roland, normally the centerpiece of Westhill’s attack, had just nine points. Tyler Reynolds led the way, pouring in 25 points to go with seven rebounds, while Jeff Lobello had 11 points. William Billy joined Roland as he got nine points, with Steven Bailey adding six points.
Johnny Wike led Grimes with 13 points as Westhill’s man-to-man defense stifled Steinberg, who ended up matching Roland’s total of nine points.
Also back home last Tuesday, Ludden let out its frustration against Fowler, putting together its best offensive effort of the season as it ripped past the Falcons 88-53.
During a breathtaking first half, the Gaelic Knights ran right through Fowler’s defenses, not letting up until it had gained a 51-24 edge. Then its extended the lead to 70-32 before the starters rested in the fourth quarter.
Before leaving, though, Zach Walser put up 17 points. Dan Kaigler, with the bruised eye he suffered in the loss to Westhill, still managed 15 points, as did Ben Hackett, while Jack Rauch threw in 12 points. Keandre Sanders (nine points) and Robbie Wiegan (six points) gave the Gaelic Knights extensive bench production.
Ludden also smashed past Fulton 76-49 on Friday night, scoring 28 points in the first quarter alone and stretching out its lead to 44-24 by halftime.
Again, Walser led the Gaelic Knights, earning 20 points, while Kaigler had 15 points. Hackett (13 points) and Rauch (10 points) also hit double figures as Ludden, at 15-2, got set to host “Holy War” rival CBA on Tuesday in the last regular-season home appearance for Kaigler and Hackett.
Westhill, meanwhile, put its unbeaten mark on the line in a tricky game at Syracuse Academy of Science, and with the Atoms (like so many others) bent on stopping Roland, his teammates, especially Reynolds, flourished and helped the Warriors put away the Atoms 81-60.
Both teams pushed the tempo throughout the first half, but Westhill welcomed that development, getting in front of SAS and then matching baskets with the Atoms late in the half to make sure it took a 48-37 lead to the break.
A 20-11 push through the third quarter decided matters, and Reynolds was at the forefront, earning a season-best 32 points, plus four rebounds and three steals. SAS couldn’t chase him, either, because Ryan Roland was hitting four 3-pointers on his way to 16 points for the night.
Jordan Roland, despite all the attention, still managed 13 points, while Lobello had eight assists to go with his 13 points. The Atoms lost despite 24 points from Jayson Brower and 20 from Jesse Murry.
Something else happened on the weekend, too. When Carthage lost to Whitesboro 64-60 in its regular-season finale Saturday night, it left the Warriors as the only undefeated Section III boys basketball team, a title it hopes to maintain for a while.