Macks perfect in Yale Cup
During their three seasons together at McKinley, Lovell Smith and Marcus Morris helped the Macks win 37 out of 40 boys basketball games in the always tough Yale Cup.
Want an even more impressive stat? The duo helped McKinley to its second straight unbeaten season in the Yale Cup and the league championship. The Macks on Thursday routed host Bennett, 76-41, in a game in which the shot clock wasn’t working.
It didn’t matter as the Macks’ pressure defense forced plenty of turnovers and bad shots as McKinley bolted to a 52-18 halftime lead and cruised.
“It’s not easy to do in the league,” Macks coach Zaire Dorsey said of the back-to-back unbeaten league seasons.
Especially with the new league format in which teams are divided into different divisions based on competitiveness. That means instead of playing everyone once, McKinley faced perennial contenders like East and Middle Early College twice this season. Dorsey said this is McKinley’s fourth Yale Cup title since 1993.
Morris finished with 17 points, 12 rebounds and four assists, while Smith had six points. Reyjzon Jordan had 10 rebounds, 10 assists and seven steals.
Middle College edges East
Keir Anderson scored 31 points to help lead Middle Early College to an impressive victory to end its regular season as the Kats won, 60-57, at East in a battle of top 10 small schools.
MEC, which is ranked seventh among small schools, beat No. 4 East to finish 13-4 overall and 9-3 in Yale Cup Division I, forging a tie for second with East (12-6, 9-3). East beat MEC, 61-52, in overtime on Jan. 11.
“Our mistake when we saw East in our gym was that we underestimated them,” Anderson said. “We realized we can’t do that. The win definitely boosts our confidence, but we’re not big-headed about anything.”
Anderson’s fallaway jumper after a dynamic cross-over dribble and spin move put Middle Early College up, 58-51, with 3:15 to go. East would be within one in the final minute, but Anderson hit both ends of a one-and-one for MEC’s 60-57 lead with 19 seconds to go.
Canisius on its game
When Canisius is operating on all cylinders, watch out. Bishop Timon-St. Jude discovered that the hard way as the Buffalo News’ No. 1 Large School routed the Tigers, 78-42.
Nine different players scored for the Crusaders, who extended a 29-16 halftime lead with a 24-10 third quarter. Adam Weir led the winners with 19 points. Canisius swept the regular-season series. It won at Timon by five earlier this month.
“Today was probably the best team game we’ve played all season,” Crusaders coach Kyle Husband said.
Canisius faces rival St. Joe’s on Saturday (2 p.m. at Canisius College).
St. Joe’s continued its high-scoring ways, averaging 20-plus points a quarter in an 85-59 rout of Sweet Home.
It was an enjoyable Senior Night for Louis Oliveri (24 points), Jordan Glover (17), Jaylen Morris (13), Mark Cerza (12), Dylan Hall (10) and Dan Maher (three) as the Marauders improved to 18-4.
Tickets for the Canisius-St. Joe’s game continue to be available at each school and will also be available at the door on Saturday afternoon.
Golda, Jackson huge
Jonathan Jackson recorded a quadruple double as Niagara Catholic rallied in the second half to defeat host Cardinal O’Hara, 76-64, in the Monsignor Martin Association. Jackson finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 steals.
Elsewhere, sophomore Randy Golda broke his own school record, scoring 44 points for Global Concepts during a 64-55 nonleague win over Buffalo Science.
Golda, who scored two of his points on his first in-game dunk, poured in 29 points during the second half, most off pick-and-roll plays, and also went 9 for 9 from the free-throw line. He also grabbed 21 rebounds. Golda’s old single-game mark was 34 points.
Walton, Taplin set marks
Two records were set in one game as Williamsville North beat Holy Angels, 58-50, in nonleague girls basketball.
Holy Angels’ Jontay Walton scored a game-high 26 points and now owns the Monsignor Martin Association single-season scoring record. She has 576 points, 14 more than RaeAnn Stilwell’s old mark set in 2009-10.
Freshman Erica Taplin had 20 points in the win and the 5-foot-11 forward’s four blocks gave her the North school record for rejections in a season, with 90. Cheryl Kindzia blocked 88 shots in 2004-05.
Erika Longwell had eight of her 13 points in the third quarter and Starpoint made 14 steals in a 42-37 ECIC II win over Iroquois.