on January 19, 2014 - 12:28 AM
For the second Saturday afternoon in a row, Canisius played a highly ranked opponent in a marquee event before a full gym – and won in a rout.
The Crusaders, the No. 1 team in The News large school poll, rolled to a 75-48 victory over No. 3 McKinley in the marquee matchup of the Martin Luther King Jr. Classic at City Honors.
One week ago, Canisius (11-2) cruised to a 73-51 win over rival St. Joe’s, which was also ranked third at that time, at Canisius College.
Saturday against McKinley, a standing-room-only crowd in excess of 500 watched a Canisius effort marked by intensity on defense and unselfishness on offense.
“We all shared the ball, we all got in the game, we got a couple of dunks, got the fans going, it was a pretty good game overall for all of us,” said junior LaTerrance Reed, who led Canisius with 20 points. “It was a good show and a good win for us.”
The highlight of that show came on Canisius’ second basket of the game and set the tone for the rest of the afternoon. Guard Howard Washington lobbed an alley-oop pass to fellow sophomore Stafford Trueheart, who finished it with a two-handed slam.
“It’s setting a tone,” said Washington. “We try to get that early in the game — and after that, we just kept going.”
The alley-oop helped send Canisius to a 20-8 first-quarter lead. The Crusaders had a 38-23 halftime advantage that appeared comfortable enough, but then Canisius opened the third quarter with a 9-0 run that included a four-point play by Reed, who was fouled on a three-pointer in the opening seconds. Late in what would be a 24-10 quarter that put Canisius up 62-33, the 6-foot-5 Trueheart (eight points) recorded one of his five blocks, then got the ball back from Washington (eight points, six assists) on the other end for a two-handed fast-break slam.
“We knew they were going to come out with one big push,” Canisius coach Kyle Husband said of McKinley in the third quarter. “We turned it on and we really played tough defense. We rebounded. We finished possessions which we needed to do. When we pass the ball up the floor like that, and move it and find the open guy, we’re really good.”
Canisius coaches and players cited the team’s first in-state loss this week — a loss Tuesday at Rochester power Bishop Kearney — as something that helped the Crusaders’ focus.
“I was really happy” with the win, said Husband, whose team beat St. Francis, 97-49, Thursday. “It was a long week, a hard week. After Tuesday, our guys were kind of down a little bit … They really responded. The way they played – I’m really proud of all of them.”
Senior reserve Josh Huffman had 10 points for Canisius while senior Ryan Richards had nine. Devin Morris led McKinley (6-2) with 10 points.
The News’ No. 1 small school also bounced back from a loss this week with a big MLK win.
East High (9-1), which suffered its first setback of the season Wednesday at home to McKinley, got 19 points from junior Percy Bryant in a 64-32 victory over Sweet Home (5-6).
“After the McKinley loss, our heads were messed up, and in our game the next day, we were kind of slow,” Bryant said, referring to a win over Rochester’s Franklin, “so we wanted to get back into the groove.”
Senior Johnathon Lewis had 13 and senior Shawn Young had 11 for East, which did not allow Sweet Home to reach double-digits in any quarter.
Sweet Home, which entered the week as the No. 9 large school but suffered losses to Hamburg and Iroquois (Friday night) during a stretch of four games in five days, trailed 32-18 at halftime after East’s 18-9 second quarter, and the deficit would only grow.
“They just brought it all,” said East coach Starling Bryant, whose team again played without senior center Tyree Tyson.
“We stressed controlling the rebounds and applying as much pressure as possible for the 32 minutes of the game.”
In the first game of Saturday’s tripleheader, sophomore Jaylin Rose banked in a three-pointer just before the buzzer to give Hutch-Tech a 75-72 overtime victory over St. Francis.
Rose had 15 points. His overtime basket his only three-pointer of the game. Senior Roman West led the Engineers (7-4) with 17 points while junior Eric Foster had 13 and senior Aymanuel Radford had 12.
St. Francis senior Chris Shriver had tied the game at 72-72 with a three-pointer in the final minute. Shriver (10 points) was one of five double-figure scorers for the Red Raiders (4-9), joining senior Maurice Burse (12), senior Trey Holness (12), sophomore John Steven Zhu (11) and senior Dave Kennedy (10).