ROCHESTER — On one play in the second half of Saturday night’s Class AA Far West Regional, 6-foot-9 Bishop Kearney sophomore standout Thomas Bryant burst through the lane and went in for a dunk.
The dunk missed, but there was 6-10 senior standout and Syracuse University signee Chinoso Obokoh to get the rebound while being fouled.
It was that kind of night for Jamestown.
Bishop Kearney was too big, too strong and too much for the Red Raiders as it displayed its advantages in height, strength and reach in an assertive second half, which led to a 53-41 victory before an estimated 2,400 at the Blue Cross Arena.
Bishop Kearney (15-7), which had its struggles early in the season, including losses to Niagara Falls and Canisius, heads to where most preseason prognosticators thought it would be traveling this time of year — Glens Falls as the Western Regional representative in Class AA.
Kearney will play Section II (Albany area) champion Troy at 2:15 p.m. Saturday in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class AA semifinals.
Jamestown (19-3), competing in its third regional game in four years, played a composed first half, taking a 14-9 lead after one quarter and a 23-22 lead at halftime.
Bishop Kearney asserted itself – particularly on the defensive end – with a 16-6 advantage in the third quarter to take a 38-29 lead to the fourth and Jamestown could never make it a game. If Obokoh or Bryant (12 points each) weren’t scoring, they were tipping or grabbing rebounds – Obokoh had 19 while Bryant had 13.
“The putbacks really hurt us,” said Jamestown coach Ben Drake. “In the second half, they just got too many offensive rebounds. They were just going after it like men. They really went after it hard. On a few possessions, they had five or six shots, and eventually they’re going to put them in.”
Several times Jamestown players made drives that would have worked against many other teams, but Bryant’s long arms would erase attempts. Bryant, who has been recruited by major Division I programs since his freshman season, had six blocks while Obokoh and 6-4 junior Stanley Foster each had two.
“Defensively they made it tough for us,” said Drake. “In the first half I thought we did a pretty good job of executing — in the second half, decent shots were just hard to come by.”
Alvin English, a 6-4 senior, added 11 points and seven rebounds while standout 6-1 guard Antwoine Anderson finished with 11 despite struggling with his shot (3 for 13) and picking up two early fouls.
Jamestown’s ony senior, Tommy Campion, had 20 points on 8-of-26 shooting while sophomore backcourt mate Zack Panebianco had nine. Jamestown’s adept front line of 6-5 junior Quinn Lee Yaw (five points) and sophomores Branden Kellam (five) and Stephen Carlson (two) were simply overmatched underneath the basket.
“Tommy has been awsome all year and he was great again tonight, especially offensively,” said Drake. “There were times where he was our only offensive option, it seemed like. We have a lot to be proud of, it was a great season.”