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Canisius plays like a No. 1

Canisius backed up its No. 1 large school ranking yet again, despite a raucous home crowd at Bishop Timon-St. Jude and foul trouble for one of its best players.

With three fouls in the first half, sophomore standout Stafford Trueheart was not much of a factor with six points, but hot-shooting Canisius used its balance, ball movement and tough defense to roll to a 79-49 victory over Timon (11-10, 7-2) at Palano Gym.

Junior LaTerrance Reed scored 22 points while sophomore guard Howard Washington had 21 for Canisius (18-2, 9-0 Monsignor Martin Association). Each had three three-pointers, as did reserve guard Josh Huffman.

“Stafford Trueheart is one of the best forwards in Western New York,” said Reed. “Other people had to step up, and we did a good job of that.”

The Crusaders also overcame the momentum provided by Timon senior guard Donte Williams, who delivered a fast-break two-handed jam in the third quarter to come within one point of 1,000 for his career. He added a free throw soon after to reach the mark (he now has 1,004) and cut what had been an eight-point Canisius halftime lead (30-22) to four (38-34), causing Palano Gym and Timon’s Militia student section to erupt.

However, Canisius kept rolling as a Reed three pushed the lead to 45-34 with 2:31 left in the third. Canisius took a 52-37 lead into the fourth quarter after Michael Keenehan hit a three at the horn.

“It was a total, total team effort on both sides of the floor,” said Canisius coach Kyle Husband. “Congrats to Donte for his 1,000th — we tried to limit him as much as we could, but overall our intensity and focus on that end was great. Offensively we really passed the ball well. We made more shots, but I think the shots were easier because of how well we did moving the ball. It was a great night and I’m super-proud of the guys.”

Cleve Hill earns title tie

Jared Watkins picked a good time to step up for the Cleveland Hill boys basketball team. The Golden Eagles’ senior guard scored 14 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter to lead a 69-52 victory over visiting Holland and clinch at least a tie for the ECIC IV division title. Cleveland Hill (10-1) has a one-game lead over Holland (9-2).

“It was Jared Watkins’ best game of the season,” said Cleve Hill coach Jason Przybysz. “He’s been pretty solid all season, but today he really came though with his defense and scoring. He was 7 for 8 at the line in the fourth quarter.”

Cleveland Hill took a 42-39 lead into the final period then outscored the Dutchmen, 27-13, hitting 11 of 14 free throws.

Aaron Phillips was Cleveland Hill’s scoring leader with 24 points, including a pair of three-pointers. The Eagles had to withstand a 30-point performance by Holland junior Clay Lewis, who hit four baskets from outside the arc.

Lancers knock off Park

St. Mary’s of Lancaster overcame the loss to injury of starter Corey Kiebzak and triumphed, 57-45, at Park to clinch first place among in the small school division of the Monsignor Martin Association.

The Lancers (15-1, 10-1) have games remaining with large schools St. Joe’s and Canisius in the regular season. The loss dropped Park to 6-4 in league play.

Takal Molson came off the bench to replace Kiebzak and paced the Lancers with 16 points. Kiebzak left the game and did not return after he was hit in the mouth in the early minutes.

“Molson added some instant offense. He came in and did an awesome job,” St. Mary’s coach Paul Rath said.

Matt Wrobel and Tyler English each had 14 points for the Lancers. English had nine rebounds while Latrell Tyson had eight assists. Sophomore Kyle Harris led Park with 15 points.

Lockport, Wilson girls win

Lockport (12-2) completed its Niagara Frontier League schedule, doubling up on Kenmore East, 54-27. Sara Franco led the Lions with 17 points. … Niagara-Orleans league champion Wilson (13-0) coasted past Medina, 44-25, as Dana Smith had 13 points.