With an early 15-3 lead on Senior Night at home against an opponent with an inferior record, Kenmore West (12-6) seemed in good shape Wednesday night. However, the Blue Devils, ranked ninth in this week’s large schools boys basketball poll, ended up needing big plays in the final minute for a 57-52 nonleague victory over Sweet Home (9-9).
"We came out flying," said Kenmore West coach Mike Meetze, talking about his team’s fast start. "But they took a one-point lead with a minute and 30 left."
Kyle Laplante made a steal, scored with it, was fouled and made the free throw to put West ahead. Another steal, and four free throws by Tyler Aquilina sealed a victory that was far from routine.
Aquilina, one of the seniors honored, led the Blue Devils with 15 points. Senior LaPlante had 11 points and senior Tal James had 10. Jamel Lucas and Stephone Trueheart led the losing Panthers with 15 points each.
Kenmore West gets back to Niagara Frontier League action hosting rival Kenmore East in a girls-boys doubleheader on Friday.
Sacred Heart tops Nardin
Sacred Heart had an inside-outside combination that was tough to beat Wednesday night in the Sharks' 50-39 Monsignor Martin Association victory over visiting Nardin.
Micaela Ryan led Sacred Heart with 28 points, including five three-pointers. Jennifer Grimme had 18 points and 12 rebounds for the winners.
"When they took away our outside play, Grimme excelled. When they took away our inside play, Micaela excelled," said Sacred Heart coach Jack Coppola.
Nardin (6-8) trailed only 25-18 at the half, but the Sharks took command in the third quarter, outscoring the Gators, 9-2. Nardin didn't go down without a fight though.
"It was a typical rivalry game," Coppola said. "Give credit to Nardin for all their hustle. They were battling right to the end."
Seniors Abigail Adams (16 points) and Alexandra Hartnett (14) led the scoring for Nardin.
Sacred Heart had a nonleague game against Wilson on Friday, then the showdown with first-place Cardinal O'Hara next Tuesday.
Owls back on winning track
After having its 12-game win streak snapped by MST Seneca on Monday, the Olmsted Owls got back on the winning track Wednesday with a 77-56 victory over Buffalo Arts. Daniel Reid had 26 points and Naseem Baynes came through with 18 points and 17 rebounds for coach Andrew Bush's team. Arts trailed only 37-35 at the half and it was 56-48 after the third quarter. Olmsted put it away with a 21-8 fourth-quarter burst.
Javaughn Johnson led Arts with 24 points, including five three-pointers.
Olmsted (10-1 in Yale Cup League II) owns a half-game lead over MST Seneca (9-1) in the division.