After watching his team sleepwalk through the first quarter Friday night, St. Joe’s coach Mark Simon was determined to have his players change the tempo after the halftime break.
A suffocating, full-court man-to-man press did just that, as the Marauders put up a ridiculous 57 points in the second half of an 81-58 win over Monsignor Martin Athletic Association rival Bishop Timon-St. Jude.
“We’re capable of that,” Simon said, “but we threw a stinker out in the first quarter. It took us a while to get going.”
Once they did, there was no looking back for St. Joe’s, the fourth-ranked large school in The Buffalo News poll. Guard play was a big reason why.
Jordan Glover (17 points, 10 assists, six steals) and Jaylen Morris (14 points, five assists, eight steals) combined for 14 steals, several of which led to transition baskets for the Marauders, who after trailing at halftime, 26-24, scored 37 points in the third quarter, during which Glover had 13 of his 17 points. Louis Oliveri added 16 points for St. Joe’s (17-4, 9-1).
“We forced them to throw the ball around a lot, then we were able to convert,” Simon said.
Damone Harris had 17 points for Timon (10-11, 6-3), The News’ seventh-ranked large school.
Billies start big
Williamsville South boys basketball coach Gabe Michael could sense all week in practice his team was ready for Friday night’s showdown with ECIC II rival Sweet Home.
Boy, was he right.
Michael watched as his Billies blitzed the Panthers with a 23-0 run to start the game on their way to a big 72-53 victory.
“We were just so ready to play,” Michael said. “After every basket, I had to stop the guys on the bench from coming out on the floor, they were so pumped up.”
Williamsville South (11-4, 7-2) was led by senior Chaq Nettles’ 23 points, while point guard Sam Castronova added 14 points and distributed the ball well all night.
The Billies avenged an earlier loss to the Panthers this season.
“We were out to prove we belong in the top of the section,” Michael said. “We never looked back after that opening run.”
Michael Torrillo had a game-high 28 points for the Panthers (13-3, 10-1), who were ranked 10th in The News large school poll coming into the game.
Also in ECIC II, Timothy Kane steadied Hamburg with some clutch free-throw shooting down the stretch of a 54-50 victory over Williamsville East. Kane went 3 of 4 from the line in the fourth quarter – after Hamburg had been 1 of 7. The Bulldogs’ Jeremiah Bull had six of his 14 points in the final quarter, one that started tied at 34. Griffin Ryan had a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds as the Bulldogs evened their overall record at 8-8 and improved to 6-5 in league play.
Will East (5-11, 4-7) got points from just four players, led by Nicholas Clough (18) and Michael Spina (17).
Elsewhere, Denis Vanini and Derrick Sekuterski each had 13 points as Depew earned a 67-60 ECIC III victory over Lake Shore. The Wildcats (10-6, 8-4), who also got a dozen points from Cody Penner, jumped out to a 40-24 lead at halftime.
Senior Clark Brueckl led all scorers with 18 points for Lake Shore (7-9, 5-8).
Maryvale got off to a strong start with a 26-point first quarter in a 70-64 ECIC III victory over Cheektowaga. Ed Smith had a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Demetri McCallie just missed a triple-double with nine points, 10 rebounds and eight assists for the Flyers (10-6, 8-4).
Preston Summers led all scorers with 23 points for Cheektowaga (6-10, 4-8).
No. 1 Huskies cruise
No. 1 small school Olean stayed unbeaten (11-0) in CCAA I with a 77-34 win over Allegany-Limestone. Junior Sam Eckstrom (11 rebounds) led three Olean scorers in double figures with 23 points. Wil Bathurst added 15 points and three steals for the Huskies, ranked first in the state in Class B.
Fredonia (12-4, 9-2) remained in second place in CCAA I with a 79-65 win over Southwestern (10-6, 7-4). The Hillbillies had three players crack 20 points: John Piper (24), Dylan Meyer (23) and Nick Johnston (23).
Alek Peck had 23 for Southwestern in defeat.
Milestone for Hess
Shaquille Brooks had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds as Lackawanna scored a 63-57 ECIC IV win over Tonawanda to remain in second place in the league race behind Cleveland Hill.
Tonawanda (8-9, 5-6) senior Clayton Hess scored 29 points to give him exactly 1,000 in his career. Hess had 15 in the fourth quarter.
Jamestown built a lead on solid defense and converting turnovers into points to earn a 58-44 win over Lancaster in a key ECIC I matchup. The win moved Jamestown to 10-1 in league play, while Lancaster slipped to 8-3.
Karisha Tatia scored 20 points with six steals and five rebounds. She was a force on defense, helping Jamestown record 20 team steals and force 25 Lancaster turnovers.
Annie Campion added 14 points for Jamestown, while Chrisana Green had eight points, 14 rebounds and four blocked shots.
Elsewhere, No. 1 small school Cardinal O’Hara stayed undefeated (19-0, 11-0) in the Monsignor Martin Association with a 66-27 win over Niagara Catholic. Keyonte Edwards’ 16 points led three Hawks in double figures.
Senior 6-foot center Danielle DeVole led all scorers with 18 points for Niagara Catholic.
Jontay Walton continued her torrid scoring pace for Holy Angels with 26 more points in a 53-31 win over Mount St. Mary. She also had 10 steals and five assists.
It’s unusual to see both Kenmore West and Kenmore East in the bottom half of the Niagara Frontier League standings, but that’s where they find themselves this season.
Still, it’s a big game whenever district rivals get together, as they did Friday night. West (6-10, 6-7 NFL) came out on top, 44-30, led by Marylouise Lindner’s 12 points.
Julia Snitzer had 11 for East (3-13, 3-10).
For video of St. Joe’s win, visit buffalonews.com/video