NIAGARA FALLS – Niagara Falls couldn’t make it two in a row, while Jamestown started its season off in style in the final day of the Cataract Classic.
One night after a jam-packed “Wolv-arena” saw Falls open the season by taking down highly touted Bishop Kearney of Rochester, the Wolverines fell to Brunswick of Ohio, 57-45, in front of an estimated 1,000 at Niagara Falls High School.
Jamestown, which ends up paired with Niagara Falls in the Class AA final four at Buffalo State each season, had a great second half to beat Williamsville South, 68-46.
Niagara Falls and Brunswick were in a tight contest throughout. It was 12-12 after one quarter, 26-26 at the half and Falls held a 39-37 lead after three quarters. But the Blue Devils took over with a 20-6 fourth quarter behind 6-3 junior guard Ryan Badowski, who had 12 of his 23 in the final quarter and would not be rattled by Falls’ defensive pressure.
“Badowski is the best point guard I’ve seen in some time,” said Niagara Falls coach Sal Constantino. “We live off pressure, and he controlled the entire play of the game.”
Jermaine Crumpton, the Canisius College signee, led Falls with 13 points while fellow senior Jaleo Wilkins had 10.
In the first half of its contest, Jamestown looked like a team playing its first game.
In the second, the Red Raiders looked, as they often do, like one of the best large schools in Western New York. Jamestown put on a tremendous display, using a 25-8 third quarter to run away from South.
“Sometimes in the first game of the year, you get those first-game nerves, and I think that’s what we had,” said Jamestown coach Ben Drake. “But in the second half, I was very pleased at how we played at both ends of the floor.”
Senior Tommy Campion had 19 points, including three three-pointers, to lead four double-figure scorers for Jamestown. Sophomore guard Zack Panebianco earned game MVP honors with 14 points.
Quinn Lee Yaw, a 6-6 junior, had 14 points despite playing with foul trouble all game while 6-5 sophomore Brendan Kellam added 13.
For South (2-1), senior Chaq Nettles scored 11.
“I was happy how we competed in the first half.,” said Williamsville South coach Gabe Michael, in his first year after replacing Al Monaco, who was controversially removed as coach in August. “We’re going to get better. They’re still learning me, I’m still learning them.”
In one of the best games of the day, Newfane opened its season by beating St. Mary’s, 61-56, in overtime.
Senior guard Reid Weber hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to send the game to overtime, and the Panthers went 9 of 12 at the foul line in the extra session to win the OT, 12-7, and hand St. Mary’s (3-1) its first loss.
Senior Connor Sears led Newfane with 24 points, 11 rebounds and eight steals; two of his steals came in overtime. Senior Bryan Geise (six points) went 4 of 6 at the foul line in overtime. Senior Paul Rath had 18 points while Tyler English had 17 for St. Mary’s.
Junior Derrick Sekuterski had 14 points and 10 rebounds and he went 5 for 6 from the foul line in the fourth quarter as Depew (1-1) held on for a 49-40 victory over Niagara Catholic (2-1).
Geneva of Section V defeated Bishop Timon-St. Jude, 53-50, behind a 26-point, six three-pointer peformance by senior guard Shane Sweeney. Junior forward Donte Williams had 22 points for Timon (0-3).
In the first game of the day, senior Jordan Jelks had 22 points as Grand Island started with a 17-4 half and kept on running to a 54-17 win over Wilson (0-3). Junior Jadon Wegrzyn added 12 points for the Vikings (1-1).