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Clarence rebounds to win

Clarence lost at Jamestown by 30 on Tuesday night. On Friday, the Red Devils bounced back in a huge way at home as they beat the Red Raiders, 61-56, in boys basketball.

Clarence (9-3, 6-2), the No. 7 team in The News large school poll, beat the No. 6 Red Raiders (9-3, 6-2) by making big plays in the final three minutes to complete a total turnaround from Tuesday’s 71-41 road loss.

“Going down there was a combination of them playing well and us not playing well,” Red Devils coach Todd Banaszak said. “The kids knew we were better than that. They felt that they could play with them, and I think we proved that tonight.”

In what was a back-and-forth fourth quarter, senior Tyler Funk (13 points, three three-pointers) hit a three-pointer to turn Jamestown’s two-point lead into a 55-54 lead with just over two minutes to play. After Jamestown tied it with a free throw, a nice set play resulted in a pass from junior reserve Brian Pulli to set up a layup for senior Elliot Case (eight points) to give Clarence a 57-55 lead with under a minute left.

Senior Bryan Jost (18 points) went 4 for 4 from the foul line in the final seconds. He hit two to put Clarence up, 59-56.

Jamestown had the ball with 16.3 seconds left, but the Clarence defense collapsed on junior guard Zack Panebianco knocked the ball loose and earned possession after a tie-up. Jost later iced the game with two free throws with fewer than 10 seconds left.

“It feels way better after losing by that much,” Jost said. “That was a terrible game. After that game I was just embarrassed. I was thinking, ‘People are going to look at that score and see we lost by 30 - we’re not that bad, we’re better than that.’ And we showed today that we’re pretty good.”

Lions can roar a bit

Kenmore West already had beaten Lockport this season in Niagara Frontier play, so the Lions needed a win to keep pace in the standings. They got it, notching a 55-49 victory.

“This was great,” Lockport coach Dave Gilson said. “Our only conference loss was to them, so we’re in the same boat now with a loss each. But there are a lot of games to go.”

Ryan Lawrence led Lockport (No. 10 among large schools) with 19 points. Gilson says Lawrence took charge when it was needed vs. the Blue Devils (ranked No. 9).

“We were down a little bit, a little flat, and he scored eight of his 19 points in the quarter. Ryan also had 11 rebounds,” he said.

In the Monsignor Martin, junior forward Derrick Simpson had a very big night for Bishop Timon-St. Jude: 19 points, 21 rebounds and 10 assists. Teammate Donte Williams wasn’t bad either as the Tigers beat St. Francis, 80-58. Timon is ranked fourth among large schools.

Diaz does it all

Lester Diaz of Lafayette has rather high standards for good play, but even he probably would say he had a game to remember against Buffalo Arts.

Diaz poured in 43 points to lead the Violets to a 73-67 win. If you think the senior guard didn’t pass the ball much in the game, think again. He finished with 13 assists, and added seven rebounds as well. Both teams are now 4-1 in Yale Cup play.

Tristian Boling had 16 points and Connor Pumm as Tonawanda held off Christian Academy, 41-40. The Warriors made a couple of defensive stops in the final 15 seconds to win.

Phil Bowen had 33 points – including a 17-for-25 performance from the line – as Iroquois knocked off St. Mary’s of Lancaster, 60-56. Bowen, a senior point guard, added six rebounds and four assists.

Lake Shore hangs on

In girls basketball, Lake Shore held off a late Cheektowaga comeback to win, 48-45. The Eagles led by 15 points most of the game, but the Warriors hit a bunch of free throws to get within striking distance in the final seconds. But Cheektowaga missed a shot with 11 seconds left to tie the game.

Bailey Koithan hit a runner with eight seconds left to lift Newfane to a 51-49 win over CSAT in Niagara-Orleans play.

In Canisius Cup play, Danyae Barclay had 26 points for Bennett in a 79-26 romp over East.

Red Devils win Brawl

In wrestling, a win in the “Border Brawl” between Clarence and Lancaster is always extra special, and the Red Devils got the victory this time by a score of 41-21.

“It’s a big rivalry,” Clarence coach Jason Chase siad. “Every year it’s between two traditionally good teams, and a lot of times it’s for a league title, so it’s always good to win.”

Nate Schwab (160) and Jake Weber (170) won by pins, while Brian Burns (115) and Tom Dicostanzo (108) both had major decisions.

Cheektowaga rallies, clinches

Cheektowaga’s goal of an unbeaten season in boys bowling seemed to be on life support Friday against Tonawanda.

Trailing by 3-1 and by 201 pins, the Warriors needed to win the final two four-man games and beat Tonawanda by more than 201 pins so that it could secure the last three available points (one each for game win and one for most total pins).

They did just that at Tonawanda Bowling Center as the Warriors remained unbeaten with a 4-3 victory. With the win, the Warriors (9-0) clinched at worst a share of the ECIC Small School North Division title with three matches to go.

Cheektowaga has won the division three of the past four years, with the lone exception being last season when the Warriors of Tonawanda pulled off the feat.

In the final game, Cheektowaga’s A Group foursome combined for an 868 – led by senior Connor LaJoy’s 235, while its B Group four also eclipsed 800 in finishing with an 804 – led by Dana Voytovich’s 241.