The Men of Steel are back
Lackawanna is back on top of ECIC IV again.
The Steelers defeated Alden, 52-44, Wednesday night to avenge their only division loss and gain a share of the title with the visiting Bulldogs. It's the eighth year in a row Lackawanna has won or shared the ECIC IV title. Overall, it was the 37th division title for the Steelers.
Alden got a 20-point output from center Christian Barcykowski in a 59-53 victory over the Steelers on Jan. 31. Barcykowski was held to six this time.
"Dwayne Bennett did a good job on Barcykowski. No field goals, all his points came on foul shots." said Steelers coach Tim Foley.
Even with little production from Barcykowski, the Bulldogs made Lackawanna work for it.
Alden ran off the last nine points of the third quarter to take a 34-32 lead. Lackawanna, though, took charge in the final session, 20-10.
Dondre Alexander led Lackawanna with 23 points. Dwight Barber had 14, nine in the fourth quarter rally. Bennett had 10 rebounds.
No Alden player scored in double figures.
In other action Wednesday, Medina clinched at least a share of the Niagara-Orleans League title with an 84-50 victory over Roy-Hart. Levi Pace led the Mustangs with 17 points. Adam Hellwig had 13.
East avoids upset
Some would call it a "trap game."
"I call it a 'sucker game,' " said coach Starling Bryant, whose East High Panthers might have been caught looking ahead to their showdown with Grover Cleveland as they were sneaking past upset-minded Hutch-Tech, 64-62, to stay unbeaten in Yale Cup basketball play.
"I was worried about us being flat after the McKinley game and Grover coming up on Friday, and that was true to form. I tried to warn the kids. This was a tough game," Bryant said. "They [Hutch] were up for the task."
With the score tied at 62-all, Dallas Gary of the Panthers rebounded a missed Hutch free throw and drove for an 8-foot bank shot with 6 seconds left for the winning basket. The Engineers had a chance to tie it but missed the first of two free throws with .8 seconds left, then deliberately missed the second.
Domonique Jackson led East with 24 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Gary had 16 points.
Grover, meanwhile, jumped to a 15-0 lead and went on to a 70-64 victory over Middle College at the ECC Flickinger Center.
"Right away we showed we were ready to play ball," said Grover coach Earl Schunk.
It wasn't all that easy, however. Middle College had the lead down to four with possession in the final two minutes. However, Kenyon Edwards blocked a layup try by Justin Stokes, grabbed the loose ball, was fouled with 1:10 to play and made the free throws.
"We've played all these games to get ready for this," Schunk said, looking ahead to Friday's game against East that will decide the Cup championship.
South Park senior Roman Brown scored 19 points, giving him 1,014 for his career, in a 63-54 win over MST Seneca. Eric Hall had 20 for Seneca.
Jason Norsen's 17th double-double of the season led Frontier past Clarence, 81-58, in ECIC I. The Falcons blew it open by outscoring Clarence, 27-19, in the second quarter. Norsen had 19 of his 29 points in the first half. He also had 10 rebounds.
Bennett, City Honors tied for lead
In Canisius Cup girls basketball, Bennett and City Honors -- each at 11-1 -- remained tied for first place after wins. The Tigers blew past Buffalo Arts, 59-25, as Ashley Barlow (15 points) and Kiara Beaver (12 points) led the onslaught. Sarah Miller's double-double (16 points, 13 rebounds) led City Honors past McKinley, 48-21.
East (10-1) is just a half-game behind the leaders. Co-Co Grasty had 16 points and 19 rebounds and Tiauna Young scored 17 with 18 boards in leading the Panthers over Hutch-Tech, 68-51.