Red Raiders in form
St. Francis bowling team certainly had a day to remember at the All-Catholic tournament at Thruway Lanes in Cheektowaga on Thursday.
The Red Raiders won the competition with an outstanding team performance. They had a total of 1,054 in the individual division, and added 1,375 pins in the Baker round (five bowlers throw two frames each) for a total of 2,429. That was well ahead of St. Joe’s (2,336) and O’Hara (2,052).
“I don’t think anyone has come close to that total,” said St. Francis coach Jason Cretacci, who added that league officials are checking to see if the number represents an all-time record.
Kyle Wells, David Kroll, Steven Wong, Manny Williams, Christian Prechtl and Sam Petkodsky were the members of the championship squad. In the Baker round, they teamed up for a 247, 245, 247, 178, 224 and 234 to win going away.
“They had a lot of strikes strung together,” Cretacci said. “The guys communicated well with one another between frames. They let each other know what happens - ‘I’m high, adjust for it.’ ”
Kroll, a senior, was named MVP of the competition.
St. Francis doubles
Speaking of St. Francis, the school’s wrestling team had to wait an extra day in its effort to clinch another Msgr. Martin Association championship, because of the snowstorm on Wednesday. Another 24 hours didn’t prove to be a problem for the Red Raiders.
St. Francis defeated St. Joe’s, 48-24, to clinch its third straight conference crowd. The Raiders have won or shared 29 championships in 34 years.
“St. Joe’s wrestled a tough match as always,” coach Mike Messore said. “It’s always a tough match at the end of the year. But we had three freshmen come out and score pins.”
None wasted any time, either. Matt Heywood (38 seconds) won at 99 pounds, Kyrill Calkins (36 seconds) was a winner at 106, and Jasey Jakubczak (28) was even faster with his pin at 28 seconds. Captains Mike Miller (132) and Jack Braunscheidel also won their matches with ease.
Taplin lights it up
In boys basketball, Sterling Taplin of No. 2 large school Williamsville North scored 45 points, breaking the school record, as the Spartans topped Frontier, 85-60. Taplin topped the old record of 43, set by Alex Barth in 2009. Taplin was 10 for 15 in field goals, 5 for 9 on three-pointers, and 10 for 13 from the line. He also had seven rebounds, five assists and five steals.
Elsewhere, Olmsted had plenty of heroes in a thrilling 72-71 overtime win over City Honors that had the gym buzzing. Matt Cieslik scored four three-pointers down the stretch after returning from an injury. Austin Carter had three big free throws in overtime, while Ballah Burch finished with a game-high 30 points.
Holland and Cleveland Hill are set to play next week for a ECIC IV division title. Holland’s Clay Lewis had 27 points, including five three-pointers, in beating Eden, 60-49. Jermaine Hairston scored 16 points as Cleveland Hill shut down Tonawanda, 45-31.
Sam Castronova had 19 points and 11 boards for Williamsville South in its 59-48 win over Hamburg.
In girls basketball, No. 4 small school Wilson won its fifth straight Niagara-Orleans championship by beating Akron, 39-13. Emily Lasher had 16 points.