Justin Jones’ baseline layup as the shot clock was about to expire broke a 55-55 tie with 1:03 left. Jones led St. Joe’s (6-5) with a game-high 17 points.
After a Timon miss on its next trip down the floor, Justin Hollins grabbed the rebound that led to a fast-break chance by Jones. He got fouled but made two free throws to increase the lead to four. Matt Fritz sank the final two free throws as St. Joe’s made 10 of 12 from the foul line during the fourth quarter.
The game was tied at 25 at halftime and the Marauders led by one after three quarters against the News’ No. 2 large school. Antonio Morreale scored five straight points early in the fourth to give No. 7 St. Joe’s some breathing room, but the Tigers, who got 16 points from Dante Williams and 15 from Kyler Hairston, kept coming – tying the game a final time with 1:38 left.
“It was another classic St. Joe’s-Timon matchup,” St. Joe’s coach Mark Simon said. “Two great teams going at it. The crowd was good and everybody was into it. Hard fought and a great victory for us on the road.”
Most games Friday were canceled because a good number of schools were closed due to the frigid weather.
Olean was one of the few in action, however, and the Huskies earned a statement victory on the road against previously unbeaten, Section V power Greece-Athena. Sam Eckstrom scored 10 of his game-high 34 points during Olean’s 25-12 second quarter, while Wil Bathurst had eight of his 24 in the frame, too, as the Class B-sized Huskies, the News’ No. 1 small school, beat Athena, 87-71. The Class AA-sized suburban Rochester school fell to 7-1 as its previous closest game was a 20-point win over Jamestown. “They’ve just been beating everybody by double digits. It was a nice win for us,” Olean coach Jeff Anastasia said.
N-W, Canisius skate to a draw
Both Niagara-Wheatfield coach Rick Wrazin and Canisius counterpart Eugene Naab commented before their two teams’ Western New York Federation boys hockey tilt that if both teams played up to their capabilities, it’d be quite a game. Both teams did just that but settled nothing as the defending Section VI large school champion Falcons and perennial Catholic playoff-contending Crusaders skated to a 3-3 tie.
Each time N-W (5-1-2) scored to take the lead, Canisius answered, the final time with 5:51 left in regulation when Zach Mazur scored unassisted.
Matt Paonessa had a goal and an assist for the Falcons, while Justin Durkee and Alex Bauer also scored for N-W. Goalie Nate Sommers finished with 35 saves.
Canisius counterpart Mark O’Malley made 23 stops. Brendan Kaplewicz and Kurt Villani also scored for the Crusaders, who are 4-0-2 in league play.