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EAST AURORA WINS DEFENSIVE STRUGGLE

Top-seeded East Aurora survived a tight defensive game and two late turnovers to beat Fredonia, 45-43, Monday night at Buffalo State College to advance to the Class B-2 final.

The Blue Devils will face No. 2 seed Southwestern, a 71-56 winner over 10th-seeded Emerson, at 1 p.m. Saturday at Buffalo State.

The East Aurora-Fredonia matchup was tight throughout, with each of the quarters being decided by only one point. The Blue Devils held a four-point lead in the final minute, but a turnover led to a layup that allowed the Hillbillies to get within two.

A five-second violation with 26 seconds left gave the ball back to Fredonia, which missed the final shot.

Guard Ben Pergament led East Aurora with 12 points but Dave Mallon was held to 8 points -- nearly 12 below his average -- and Chris Roughton was held to only 3 -- the double-digit scorer did not make a field goal -- as Fredonia shut down East Aurora's inside game.

Fredonia's Reed Passafaro led all scorers with 20 points.

Southwestern used a 21-9 fourth quarter overcome Emerson. Senior center Matt Lipinczyk, who led all scorers with 22 points and had 10 rebounds, scored nine of his points in the fourth quarter to help Southwestern take control. The winners made 9 of 12 from the foul line in the final stanza.

Greg McCray added 14 points for the Trojans (18-5), who got 11 apiece from Chris Hall and Darren Houck. James Williams scored 17, Robert Reed 15 and Darryl Thompson 11 for Emerson.

Allegany-Limestone's surprising run through the Section VI Class C-1 playoffs came to an abrupt halt in the semifinals at the Buffalo State Sports Arena as No. 2 seed Salamanca dropped the No. 11 Gators, 40-28, in a strange game.

"This was ugly basketball," Gators coach Chad Lyter said after watching his team squander a 24-17 lead with 2:42 left in the third quarter.

They didn't score again until the final minute of the contest to break a 23-0 run for Salamanca (21-1).

"If I could explain the way we played tonight, I could make a lot of money," Lyter said. "Let's just say that this would have made a good instructional video on how not to play basketball."

"We've done it all year with defense and rebounding and teamwork," said Salamanca coach Pete Weishan. "It wasn't a pretty win, but we'll take it."

Salamanca's second-half rally was sparked by Dustin Ross, who scored all 17 of his points after intermission and Jay Weishan, who netted 9 of his 12 during that span. Mike Kotia led Allegany-Limestone with eight points.

Top-seeded Traditional meets Burgard in the other C-1 semifinal at 5:45 today at Buffalo State.

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