JAMESTOWN — Silver Creek has been awaiting a rematch with Middle College since last March.
Tuesday night, the Black Knights will get their shot at redemption.
Top-seeded Silver Creek repeated as Section VI Class C-2 champions with a 49-40 win over No. 3 Portville on Friday night in front of a packed house at Jamestown Community College.
The Black Knights then watched Middle College, the team that ended their season a year ago, outlast Oracle Charter, 77-65, in the Class C-1 title tilt, setting up Tuesday night’s overall Class C championship game at Buffalo State.
Middle College won last year’s game, 58-57, when Zed Williams missed a shot in the lane at the buzzer.
Williams willed Silver Creek to victory Friday night, scoring nine of his 21 points in the fourth quarter and also tallying nine rebounds and four assists.
“Zeddie Williams was special tonight,” Silver Creek coach Robert Genco said.
The Black Knights also got a big game from 6-foot-7 center Bill Brooks, who had seven points, 17 rebounds and 10 blocks despite being in foul trouble for much of the second half.
Portville slowed down Silver Creek’s fast-paced attack for three quarters, but the Black Knights turned up the pressure at the start of the fourth and quickly went on a 9-0 run to take control.
After a sloppy first half that included 10 turnovers by each team, and an intense third quarter that saw seven lead changes and four ties, Silver Creek held a 36-34 lead heading into the final frame.
Forwards Josh Watson and Curtis Caya each scored eight points in the third for Portville, attacking the interior while Brooks was on the bench in foul trouble.
But Tyler Bain came off the bench to hit a three-pointer and Kaine Kettle sank a pair of threes late in the third to keep the Panthers at bay.
Williams and Kettle combined to score the next nine points, putting Silver Creek up, 45-34, with 5:09 left.
Caya scored inside to bring Portville within 46-40 inside of three minutes, but Williams responded with a 15-foot running banker and the Black Knights needed only make their free throws to win their second straight C-2 title.
Caya led Portville with 12 points. Watson had 10, as did Blask, who was recognized before the game for becoming the third player in school history with more than 1,000 career points. Blask made two jumpers early but had difficulty finding space to shoot with Williams in his face for most of the night.
Williams and the Black Knights will have a tougher time slowing down Middle College star Keir Anderson, who continued his strong play of late with 32 points in Friday night’s win.
“He’s just been a monster the last month,” Middle College coach Randy Rich said. “Something clicked.”
But it was the pace-setting from point guard Kevin Briggs (17 points, 10 assists) that Rich said keyed the Kats’ victory.
“Kev is growing a lot at the point guard position,” Anderson said. “Naturally, he’s a ‘2’ but he is growing into the point.”
Eric Waters scored 17 points and Jamarr Cunningham had 15 for Oracle, which opened up an early lead and kept it close until Middle College closed the third quarter with a 10-3 run that built its lead to double digits.
Despite being the defending champions, Rich has labeled his team the underdog going into Tuesday night.
“They’re better than us,” he said. “That’s what everybody thinks. They’re No. 1 in the state. You saw our best game of the year tonight. Hopefully we can play like that again.”