There may be no place like home, but Nichols wouldn't know that. The Vikings, playing in just their second home game in 14 starts, beat Franklinville, 74-67, in a nonleague basketball game on Saturday.
Eight of Nichols' road games came from tournaments. Nichols is 13-1, including 11-1 on the road, with its only loss coming at Timon-St. Jude. Nichols is ranked No. 12 in the state in Class B.
Nichols' 6-foot-5 Brett Hansen created matchup problems for Franklinville. Hansen finished with six blocks, 13 rebounds and 23 points. "They were strong, but not real tall," said Nichols coach Greg Plumb. "Brett was able to disrupt their offense with his shot blocking, and they didn't drive to the basket too much. They stayed on the outside and were knocking down shots."
Nichols was nursing a four-point lead with 35 seconds to go when Ron Canestro hit a big shot to seal it. Tom Ruffino added 21 points. For Franklinville, Josh Brooks had 24 points, including seven three-pointers.
Elsewhere, sophomores David Wantuck and Mike Lumley were named to the all-tournament team as the St. Mary's School for the Deaf won the Scranton (Pa.) Homecoming Tournament. The Saints beat the Rochester School for the Deaf, 54-43, in the final as Lumley had 24 points, nine rebounds and six assists.
Sophomore Samantha Kopp grabbed an offensive rebound and scored with two seconds left as visiting Franklinville escaped Nichols with a 71-69 win. Kopp tied her season-high with 35 points and had 24 rebounds. Teammate Morgan Johnson added a season-high 28 points, including six three-pointers.
"I had no doubt in my mind she (Kopp) would step up to the challenge against a quality opponent," said coach Nate Cornell. "She's really matured a lot and we expect big things from her."
Cleveland Hill won the team title and Alex Rindo of Lancaster broke a meet record at the sixth annual John Brockhurst Memorial Invitational at Lake Shore.
The event is named for Brockhurst, a graduate of Lake Shore who died in a car accident. Brockhurst's parents live in Florida now, but every year they come up to present team trophies and ribbons to the swimmers.
The Eagles' Jackson Taylor won the 100-yard backstroke and was on the winning 200 medley relay. Gene Williams and Josh Scheller were on two winning relays, Josh Atzrott won the 200 free and was on a winning relay.
Rindo won the 50 free in a meet record 22.2, shattering the previous mark of 23.2 from 2003. Also winning two events was Bob Rutkowski of Alden as he took the 200 and 100 breaststroke.
The Williamsville North versus Kenmore West Federation game was postponed Saturday following news of the sudden death of John Cavagnaro, a player for North two years ago. The 12 seniors on North's team played with Cavagnaro.
Cavagnaro, 19, was a sophomore attending the University at Buffalo. He went to Friday night's Buffalo Bandits lacrosse game and later died in his sleep.
North coach Bob Rosen said he received word of Cavagnaro's death around 10:15 a.m. The Kenmore West game was scheduled for 1 p.m.
"As close as it was to game time, half the team was already at the rink. We had a meeting with the team and told them what happened," said Rosen. "He had a heart problem, something with the valves closing. He had a tough time breathing. I'm not sure what exacting happened this time."
Besides taking a full load of classes, Cavagnaro played for UB's club hockey team, he was an assistant coach for two area modified teams and worked at the Pepsi Center. At North he was a member of state championship teams his freshman and junior years.
Ryan Marko had one goal and three assists as Sweet Home remained undefeated in the Federation with a 5-1 win over Kenmore East. . . . Cole Schneider had three assists as St. Joe's (7-1 in the Fed) beat Orchard Park, 6-1.
Williamsville North won the team title and Joe McGreevy of Lew-Port was named MVP of the Williamsville North Tournament. Tommy Kellner (119), Jake Caprow (130), Nate Carbrey (135) and P.J. Abharno (160) won their weight classes for North. McGreevy placed first at 140. Rob Broda of Eden won the 112 final in double overtime.