Another Championship Saturday night at Buffalo State, and another impressive championship performance by Jamestown.
The Red Raiders used a 15-4 second quarter to gain a 31-16 halftime lead and it kept on running away from Clarence in the Section VI Class AA championship game, beating their ECIC I rivals, 60-40, before an estimated 2,200 at the Buffalo State Sports Arena.
It is Jamestown’s second straight Class AA title and fourth in the last five years as it further claimed ownership of a classification once dominated by Niagara Falls (eight titles in a nine-year span that ended in 2009).
Jamestown (17-4), which won the program’s 11th sectional title, will return to Buffalo State for another 8:15 p.m. tipoff next Saturday night for the Far West Regionals.
“You never get tired of being up here on a Saturday night in March – it’s a culmination of a lot of hard work,” said 16th-year Jamestown coach Ben Drake. “It was just a great team effort. We’re looking forward to coming back here next Saturday.”
Quinn Lee Yaw, Jamestown’s 6-5 senior center, had 17 of his 26 points in the first half and also had 15 rebounds.
“Quinn was just awesome, he was just a man down low,” said Drake. “We knew we had to get him the ball and the kids did a great job of getting it to him.”
Lee Yaw made a tremendous impact early, throwing down a two-handed dunk in transition and he was very active in the lane and on the offensive glass.
“Coach said, ‘Come out hard and kill ’em inside,’ and that’s what we tried to do,” said Lee Yaw. “I made sure I gave my team a good boost of energy.”
Standout junior guard Zack Panebianco had 18 points for the Red Raiders.
“During the season, there was a lot of ‘one of us does well, and the other one has like an off-game,’ ” said Panebianco. “Recently we’ve been playing well together.”
Drake also credited 5-6 sophomore guard Zacc Kinsey’s defense on Clarence 6-5 standout Ryan Funk (five points).
Senior Bryan Jost’s nine points were tops for Clarence (17-4).
In the ECIC I regular season, the teams split two games in one week, with Jamestown winning at home (71-41 on Jan. 21) and Clarence winning at home three days later (61-55).
In next week’s regional, Red Raiders will play Section V (Rochester area) champion Greece-Athena (21-1) for the right to go to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class AA final four. Greece-Athenawon at Jamestown, 74-54, in the Red Raiders’ season opener.