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Yale Cup race tightens

East, ranked No. 3 in The Buffalo News small school poll, earned a huge 73-67 win over No. 2 Middle Early College in Yale Cup Division I play on Friday night.

Senior guard Johnathon Lewis scored 33 points, putting him eight away from 1,000 for his career, and was clutch down the stretch, hitting six free throws in the final quarter. Fellow guard Percy Bryant added 22 points – six coming in the final two minutes – to go with 10 assists and eight steals.

“It’s getting close to playoff time,” East coach Starling Bryant said. “I want to jell now. I’m very pleased with the win.”

Senior guard Shawn Young hit a clutch three-pointer with about 3 minutes to go – his only points of the game – for East (12-3, 8-2), giving his team a lead it would not relinquish.

Kevin Briggs had 29 points for Middle Early College (9-2, 8-1), which faces McKinley in a key Yale Cup game today, with the winner taking over first place in the league standings.

The Macks (11-4, 8-1) put up 62 points in the middle two quarters on their way to a 104-60 win over Hutch-Tech on Friday. Varin Lenard had a game-high 26 points, 12 rebounds and eight steals, while Devin Morris added 25 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists.

Roach drops 50

Sophomore Brandon Roach scored 50 points, a single-game high in Western New York this season, to lead Olmsted to a 95-92 triple overtime victory over Buffalo Arts in a Yale Cup Division II game.

The game was the first to go to three overtimes in the four-year history of the Olmsted (9-7, 8-2) program, according to coach Rich Skrabucha. Roach scored 20 points in the three overtime sessions.

“They earned a day off tomorrow,” Skrabucha said of his team, which also played an overtime game Thursday against City Honors.

Roach hit four free throws in the final overtime Friday night.

“He put the team on his back,” Skrabucha said. “He was exhausted. He’s played a lot of minutes, but he kept making baskets.”

Senior Ivan Harris hit a pair of long three-pointers on consecutive possessions for Arts (8-6, 6-4) to extend the game, while junior Aaron Woods added 23 points.

Roach’s 50 came a night after Williamsville North’s Sterling Taplin scored 45.

Schmidt reaches 1,000

Senior Nick Schmidt scored 34 points, passing 1,000 for his career, as No. 1 small school Olean (14-3) played stellar team basketball in earning a 90-75 victory over Bishop Kearney of Section V (Rochester area).

“We had beat them by 20 earlier this season at Kearney,” said Olean coach Jeff Anastasia. “We knew they had gotten a lot better. We were definitely concerned about the game. They’ve got guys that can shoot and play above the rim.”

It turned out Anastasia didn’t have anything to worry about, though. His team shot 50 percent from the field (30 for 60), with 14 assists.

Schmidt, the son of St. Bonaventure men’s basketball coach Mark Schmidt, got to 1,000 points by hitting a three-pointer from near halfcourt to beat the buzzer at the first half, one of seven threes in the game.

Wil Bathurst had 27 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks, while Sam Eckstrom added 15 points and 16 rebounds for the Huskies.

Saba sets record

Senior Sarah Saba set the Lancaster career scoring record for boys or girls Friday night, finishing with 10 points in a 39-36 victory over Frontier, which came into the game tied for fourth in The News large schools poll. Saba went 4 of 5 from the foul line in the fourth quarter, including a pair that gave her team the lead with 40 seconds left.

She now has 1,084 points, breaking the record of 1,081 that was held by Dr. Andy Kufel.

Elsewhere, UMass-bound Ciara Rosten had 42 points and 21 rebounds to lead Maryvale to a 62-60 ECIC III victory over Cheektowaga. Rosten went 13 of 14 from the foul line in the win for the Flyers (9-6, 6-6), including a pair late to seal the win.

Alissa Virges hit the winning free throw with six seconds remaining to lift Sweet Home to a 60-59 victory over Williamsville South in ECIC II play. Sophomore Neraelyn Trueheart led the Panthers (9-6, 5-5) with 16 points.

Falls clinches title

The Niagara Falls girls team clinched its first Niagara Frontier League title since 1991 with a 67-39 victory over Lockport.

Senior Victoria Pryor scored 20 points and added 10 steals and seven rebounds for the Wolverines (14-2, 12-0), while Toni Polk finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and five steals.

Elsewhere in the NFL, Kenmore West had three players score in double figures in a 51-45 victory over cross-town rival Kenmore East. Samantha Britton had 19 points, while Katie Proy added 13 and Melissa Fisher added 10.

Sophomore Liz Wildt had a triple-double with 14 points, 13 rebounds and 10 steals as North Tonawanda used a 24-6 third quarter to pull away from Lew-Port in a 47-29 NFL win. Lindsay Piotrowski had three assists and three steals for the Lady Jacks in the quarter.

Pray can’t save Kenmore

Lauren Pray made 32 saves, but it wasn’t enough for Kenmore, which fell, 2-1, to Potsdam in a girls hockey state seminfinal game in Clifton. Ally Miller scored both goals for Potsdam, while Hannah Gallivan scored for Kenmore.

On the boys side, in a showdown between two of the state’s top -ranked small schools, No. 2 West Seneca East remained unbeaten with a 3-1 victory over No. 5 Kenmore East at West Seneca Town Rink.

The host Trojans (12-0-2, 11-0-2) scored thrice in a span of 1 minute, 38 seconds late in the first period to seize control.

WSE’s leading scorer, Michael Benaquist, had a hand in each goal, assisting on Corey Grys’ opening tally with 3:54 left. Benaquist scored 23 seconds later on a breakaway and closed the blitz with another breakaway goal while shorthanded.

Robert McNamara scored late in the second period for the Bulldogs but that’s as close as they got in this fast-paced, hard-hitting affair that featured lots of penalties. WSE killed off a five-on-three situation late in the third to seal the deal.

Matt Radder made 21 saves for the win.

All-Catholic date moved

The All-Catholic swimming championships have been moved up a day and will take place at 6 p.m. Monday at Erie Community College’s Flickinger Center pool.

The meet was scheduled for Tuesday but a conflict with the facility resulted in ECC being unavailable.

Canisius enters the meet as the defending champion with a powerful outfit led by All-American and Harvard-bound talent Jack Boyd, the defending state champion in both the 200 and 500 freestyle. Canisius swimmers have posted the top times in Western New York in nine of 12 events with Boyd holding top times in 50, 100, 200 and 500 freestyle races. Luke Otto is ranked first in the 200 I.M. and Sam Sawyer has top time in backstroke.