A career-high 25 points from sophomore Branden Kellam and a fine defensive performance helped Jamestown avenge one of its two losses and put itself in position to win the ECIC I championship.
The 6-foot-5 Kellam helped lead Jamestown to a 55-46 victory before a packed gym at Williamsville North Tuesday night.
The victory for Jamestown, ranked fifth in The News large school poll, leaves it 12-2 and 7-1 in ECIC I. North, ranked third, is 12-3 and 7-2. North had won the teams’ first meeting in Jamestown on Jan. 5.
“We knew that the ECIC championship was pretty much on the line,” Jamestown coach Ben Drake said. “We knew this was a huge game for both of us. I think [Kellam and 6-5 junior Quinn Lee Yaw, who had a career-high 21 in a win at Clarence Friday] are starting to get it. I thought we played really good team defense tonight. I’m really proud of our effort.”
Williamsville North’s Sterling Taplin, who was a first-team All-Western New York selection last year, scored 20 point to lead the Spartans and become the school’s career scoring leader in his junior season. His total of 1,321 surpassed the mark of 1,318 by 1986 graduate Darren Brown.
Elsewhere, Canisius College signee Jermaine Crumpton scored 22 points as Niagara Falls, the area’s top ranked large school, powered by Niagara-Wheatfield, 70-27. J.J. Wilkins had seven assists, while Steffon Baldwin finished with 11 rebounds and six blocks for the Wolverines.
Nathan Wilkinson poured in a career high 34 points in Iroquois’ 84-49 win over West Seneca East. Iroquois also had 11 steals in the ECIC II victory.
Lockport, the area’s No. 2 large school girls basketball team, rolled to a 55-35 triumph over Kenmore West behind Alyssa Wagner’s 19 points and Sara Franco’s 15.
Elsewhere, Kaitlyn Lipka scored 12 points as No. 9 Frontier earned a hard-fought road win over Sweet Home, 37-32, in non-league play. Casey Lipka had 10 points, seven rebounds and four assists for Frontier.
Clarence rallied in the second half of its meet with Williamsville North and pulled out a 59-43 win in ECIC I boys swimming.
North led by six points before the Red Devils won the diving and went 1-2 in the butterfly to take the lead. For Clarence, Justin Gill won the 100 butterfly and was two winning relays.
“North really showed up ready to go, gave us a huge run the first half of the meet,” said Clarence co-coach Danny Salvatore. “The diving and ‘fly, those events helped close the gap. We needed to take second in the 400 free to win and the boys were pretty amped up and said, ‘Let’s for it.’ We went 1-2.”
Clarence ended the regular season at 11-1, the only loss to Orchard Park.
North finished 9-3.