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Panthers down Nichols

Sweet Home outscored Nichols, 20-9, in the fourth quarter on the way to a 63-52 win on the first day of the ECIC/Monsignor Martin Association Challenge at St. Mary’s. Barnes Khalid led 10 Sweet Home scorers with 14 points.

Also in the Challenge, Bryant Fulton and Manny Welch had 15 points each as Timon-St. Jude beat Kenmore West, 65-59. The event continues today with three games at 4:30 p.m. . . . Iroquois outscored Walsh by seven points in the fourth quarter to earn a 62-56 win in the ECIC/MMA Challenge. Nathan Wilkinson led the Chiefs with 27 points while Phil Bowen added 12.

Kevin Briggs had 20 points and Keir Anderson added 16 as Middle Early College beat host Hutch-Tech, 72-56, in the Yale Cup opener for both schools. Bri’an Brown had 12 points and 16 rebounds and Anderson handed out 10 assists.

The Kats got off to a slow start trailing, 10-4, after the first quarter. Briggs helped turn things around scoring 11 in the second, but coach Randy Rich said the turning point was a big dunk by Brown. “He drove baseline on a kid and it was just a thunderous dunk,” said Rich. “It just swung the momentum and got everyone fired up.”

Sacred Heart rolls GI

The Sacred Heart girls basketball team rode a 29-point first quarter to a convincing 61-41 win over Grand Island. La’Trice Hall had 10 points and 10 rebounds as the Sharks moved to 2-0. Hannah Rehbaum added five assists with five steals. Cassie Oursler of GI led all scorers with 18 points.

Erica Taplin had 22 points, 11 in a 29-point fourth quarter, as Williamsville North beat Newfane, 62-48.

Pair going Division I

Junior Mia Martin of the Williamsville South field hockey team has verbally committed to Northeastern University, a program that finished ranked 12th in the country. Martin was the Billies’ team captain this fall, and led ECIC II in goals with 26.

Rachel Ziarnowski of Holy Angels has signed a partial athletic scholarship to play softball at Niagara University. An All-WNY catcher last spring, she batted .521. She’s also the captain of her volleyball and ice hockey teams as well as a scholar-athlete.