Foster sparks Park
Friday’s boys basketball game between Park and Nichols figured to be a good one. Park was ranked fifth among small schools, while Nichols was one spot higher in fourth. The contest certainly lived up to that billing, as Park took a 77-75 win.
Fred Foster was the major hero down the stretch for Park. He made a slick finger roll to give his team the lead with 23.8 seconds left. Then in the final 10 seconds of play, Foster added two crucial steals as well as a foul shot to give his team the win.
“He’s a sophomore, about 6-5,” Park coach Michael Battaglia said about Foster, who had 15 points. “He transferred from Tapestry. … He’s played the last four games, and he’s finally getting into game shape. Today he played well when we needed him.”
Foster added, “It feels great because we did it as a team. I wanted to win so bad. We’re building a team. We’re building chemistry with each other and we’re getting wins.”
Hunter Anderson led Park with 19 points. The Pioneers had a 10-point lead in the second quarter, but Nichols fought back behind the work of Tanner Schmit (28 points), Cam Lewis (19) and Chris Miner (17).
“They probably scored 90 percent of their points in the paint,” Battaglia said. “We struggled guarding them. We won by shooting threes. We have to guard better. But it’s still nice to win.”
Iroquois dialed in
Josh Piesczynski tied a school record with eight three-pointers as Iroquois ralled to beat Sweet Home, 68-65, in ECIC II. The Chiefs were down by 20 points in the third quarter, but rallied to win.
“Josh was eight for 12 on three-pointers,” Iroquois coach Sean Lauber said. “It was his best shooting night in three years. Sweet Home put a lot of pressure on our point guard, and it really opened up things for Josh.”
Frontier’s defense turned particularly stingy in the second half, only allowing seven points in a 71-25 win over West Seneca West in ECIC I. Jay Bergman had 19 points for the Falcons.
Terrell Brown scored 21 points and Jordan Nwora chipped in with 20 as Amherst – ranked eighth among large schools – defeated Lake Shore, 72-61. Colin Hart had 27 points for the Eagles.
Elsewhere in that league, Collin Gemerek had 16 points for Depew in a 79-38 win over Pioneer.
In ECIC IV, Tonawanda held off Holland, 58-55. Connor Pumm had 21 points and 10 rebounds in handing Holland its first loss in league play this season. Larry Fields and Jaelin Watson had 13 points each as Lackawanna used a good second half to defeat JFK, 51-34. Cale Byczkowski led the Bears with 12.
North Tonawanda recorded a rare sweep of Niagara Falls, taking a 59-53 decision in the Niagara Frontier League. Nehemiah Stone had 17 points for NT.
“We’d better enjoy it this year because they’ll be back,” North Tonawanda coach Ryan Mountain said about a second straight win over the traditional power. “We’ve had five games in the last nine nights, and won them all. I attribute that to not taking any time off over the Christmas break.”
Charles Lamar led the Power Cats with 13 points.
Elsewhere in the NFL, Kenmore West used a 25-7 outburst in the third quarter to top Grand Island, 52-36. Noah Whalen had 13 points for the Blue Devils. Jenard Jackson led four players in double figures with 23 points as Lewiston-Porter topped Kenmore East, 69-41.
Brian Brown had 24 points as Middle Early College was too much for Cheektowaga, 76-54, in the Martin Luther King Jr. Basketball Classic. Tarron Scott added 13 points and 12 rebounds.. In another game in that event, Tapestry was a 70-55 winner over City Honors, as Chemar Pilot had 19 points.
Big Red wins close one
In girls play, Niagara Catholic used a 14-6 edge in the final quarter to take a 39-33 win from Buffalo Seminary in the Monsignor Martin Association.
Christina Schulte scored 13 points in a winning cause, getting 10 of the points in the second half.
Elsewhere, in ECIC II, Starpoint stopped Williamsville East, 44-34, holding the Flames to 13 points in the first half.
Niagara Falls, ranked fourth among large schools, had no trouble with North Tonawanda in a 63-37 win in NFL play. Ljonana Laster led the Power Cats with 16 points. Samantha Britton scored 21 points and Melissa Fisher added 19 as Kenmore West cruised to a 60-43 win over Grand Island. Dakaylah Winfield scored 21 points for the Vikings.