Amherst put on a show in the first quarter, and it rode it to yet another win in ECIC III on Tuesday night, 58-39 over Depew.
Senior Johnathan Belton scored 21 points and the Tigers owned the first quarter, 24-9. Amherst (15-1), the co-No. 7 large school in The News poll, is now 12-0 in ECIC III with two league games remaining.
“That’s probably the best total quarter we’ve had all year,” said Amherst coach Chris Kensy. “We were getting stops, we were pressing them, we were boxing out, holding them out to one shot. It was nice to see because the rest of the game was ugly, but a win is a win.”
Senior Alex Turecki had 11 points for Amherst, six of which came in the first quarter as Amherst’s ball movement and oppressive defense led to its big lead. Six Tigers scored in the opening quarter, with Belton also scoring six, senior Dion Lewis adding four, freshman Jordan Nwora three, freshman T.C. Brown three and sophomore Dorian Billups two.
Depew came within 11 at halftime and Amherst held on throughout a poor-shooting second half for both teams. Sophomore Johan Lopez (10-7, 8-5) led Depew with 10 points.
“We’re definitely taking steps forward to where we want to be,” said Kensy. “I still don’t think we’ve peaked yet — put a whole game together. But I think we’re getting close. And with two games left before sectionals, as a coach, that’s a good thing to know that we haven’t peaked yet. Hopefully by next week, we will.”
In Yale Cup, No. 5 McKinley moved a step closer to another perfect season in the league, rolling over Hutch-Tech, 82-44, for win No. 11 in Division I.
Marcus Morris had 21 points for the Macks in an all-around performance which also included 10 rebounds and eight assists. Daequan Warren had 12 points, 10 boards and blocked six shots for McKinley, which led by 29 points entering the fourth quarter before easing up on the pedal.
Riverside won its first game Yale Cup this season, slipping past Bennett, 45-42, as sophomore Jovell Littlejohn led the way with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Willie Smith added 13 to the Frontiers’ total. Tyshawn Prude topped the Bennett scoring with 14.Meanwhile, Jamestown, the No. 3-ranked large school boys basketball team in Western New York, clinched at least a tie for the ECIC I division championship Tuesday night with a 70-41 romp past West Seneca West.
Tommy Campion led the Red Raiders with 28 points, including six three-point baskets. Branden Kellam had 17 for Jamestown, which has lost only once in division play, a home defeat at the hands of Williamsville North which the Red Raiders later avenged.
CSAT (Charter School for Applied Technology) of Kenmore is one win away from a perfect 14-0 season in Niagara-Orleans League boys basketball after a 56-36 triumph over Akron. It was the Eagles’ final home game of the regular season.
The CSAT win was all the more impressive because it came with star guard Darnell Carson on the bench all game with a leg injury. “We were going to sit him as long as we could,” said CSAT coach Michael Mills. “It turns out we didn’t need him.”
Alex Santos helped picked up any slack with an almost-perfect shooting performance for 15 points. Santos was 3 for 3 from three-point range, and 2-2 from the foul line. He made 5 of 6 field-goal tries overall.
“He stepped up and made some big shots,” Mills said.
Dylanta Carson has seven steals and five assists for the Eagles, who already had clinched their first N-O championship and figure to be seeded at or near the top in the Section VI Class B-2 seedings.
Freshman Armoni Jordan scored 32 points and had 11 steals for her third double-double of the season as she led South Park past I-Prep/Grover, 74-46, in Canisius Cup League II. She was backed by 17 points each by Courtney and Monica Neumeister.
Tatiana Deas accounted for more than half the I-Prep points with 24.
Immaculata (15-4) further enhanced its credentials for consideration for the NYSAIS (Independent Schools) tournament with a 59-45 triumph over Fredonia in a nonleague game.
The Bears have three home games left – Niagara Wheatfield, Niagara Falls and Nichols – to impress the selection committee. Last year was the first time after six straight appearances that Immaculata did not make the NYSAIS field.
“We missed it by one game,” said assistant coach Joe Badaczewski. “If we go 2-1 in our remaining games, we should get strong consideration.”
Sisters Taylor and Jordan did a Heinold family wrecking job on the Hillbillies. Taylor, a senior, had 23 points, nine rebounds, five steals and a block, Jordan, a freshman forward, had 14 points, 10 rebounds, one block, two steals and four assists.
Wilson clinched its fourth straight Niagara-Orleans League girls basketball championship with a 52-28 triumph over Medina. The Lakewomen (15-1, 12-0 N-O) put 11 players in the scoring column. They own a three-game lead over second-place Newfane with only two league games left on the schedule.
Emily Lasher had nine points, seven rebounds and six steals in the victory while Jamie Currie had eight points, four assists, six rebounds and seven steals.
Colleen Wirth scored seven of her 23 points in overtime to lead Iroquois past Williamsville South, 74-69, in ECIC II.
Wirth had 10 steals and 10 rebounds and made 11 of 12 free throws, 5 of 6 in the overtime.Ejayah Arrington, a sophomore, sparked the Chiefs by scoring all seven of her points in the fourth quarter and overtime. Emily Smith had 25 points and Grace Licata 17 for the Billies.
Chad Mee won the Section VI individual title as an eighth-grader two years ago and led all of ECIC with a 232.2 average this season.
So, it was no upset that the Frontier sophomore posted the high series, a 748, at the conference rolloffs Tuesday at Thruway Lanes.
Mee, who was the only bowler to score in the 700s, had games of 268, 233 and 247 in his set, which led the ECIC South Large School Division. Next best series was a 690 by Andrew Herbert of Eden.
Joe Morrone of West Seneca East had a 259 in the South Large divison while Connor Lajoy of Cheektowaga posted a 246 in the North Small Division.