Grover beats old coach
International Prep at Grover Cleveland put on a show for its former coach Thursday.
I-Prep got great balance, including an explosive performance from Kadeem Hillman, to pull away in the second half to beat Earl Schunk's new team, Tapestry Charter, 88-64, in a battle of top five small schools.
Hillman had 28 points, including four dunks, as top-ranked Grover (6-2) used big third and fourth quarters to break away from No. 5 Tapestry (9-2) in what was an entertaining, back-and-forth contest.
"It was fun all week long getting ready for it; of course the kids wanted to beat him," said I-Prep coach Shaunessy Ryan, a former assistant under Schunk. "I told them, 'You know Schunk is not going to step off the gas pedal. So we didn't want to step off it either. We got up and down and had a lot of fun. The kids were great -- unselfish and played 'D.' Holding Tapestry to 64 is a pretty good accomplishment."
Senior standout Chris Holland had 14 points, Maurice Cheatom had 15 points and 11 rebounds and Dartwon Brooks added 11 points.
"It was different -- I almost went to the wrong bench in the beginning of the game," said Schunk. "I was extremely happy for Kadeem, because he was the player of the game. He was outstanding. We had a couple of chances, and normally we cash in better."
St. Joe's wins top 10 battle
Basketball fans in Western New York have been waiting for the first matchup of the top large schools in the Monsignor Martin Association, and it didn't disappoint.
St. Joe's junior Reggie Agbeko hit a putback to send the game to overtime and the visiting Marauders owned the extra session as they handed Bishop Timon-St. Jude its first loss of the season, 68-62, in a battle of top 10 large schools at a packed Mel Palano Gym.
Agbeko finished with 13 points and was a rebounding force in overtime as No. 9 St. Joe's (10-4, 4-0) scored the first eight points and won the session, 9-3, over No. 6 Timon (9-1, 2-1). Connor Rehbaum had 20 points, Jake Spitler had three three-pointers among his 15 points and Chad Kelly scored four of his 12 points in overtime.
"It was a great win," said St. Joe's coach Mark Simon. "We talk about getting quality wins. This is definitely one."
Kyle Kobis had 20 points, Ryan Dougherty (three three-pointers) had 15 and Jordan Williams had 13 for Timon, which was 10 for 19 from the free-throw line, including 2 of 8 in the fourth. Until Agbeko's putback, Timon had led the entire quarter, including twice by five points.
McKinley wins on road
This was precisely the kind of environment McKinley coach Zaire Dorsey wanted his team to face.
Down seven at halftime. On the road. With the fans screaming.
And the Macks, ranked No. 10 among large schools, passed an early test with an 84-81 overtime win at Riverside. Dajuan Rutledge (21 points) and Damone Canty (18 points) each hit four three-pointers for McKinley (6-0, 4-0 Yale Cup Division I).
For Riverside (6-2, 3-1), sophomore Justice Feggans scored 19 points.
"It was a big test," Dorsey said. "We had to learn how to play on the road in a hostile environment. So this was big for us. We played good defense when it mattered late."
McKinley's Antonio Avery, who scored 13 points, hit a pair of free throws with 18 seconds left in OT to give his team a three-point lead it'd never lose.
The big challenge Thursday, Dorsey said, was adjusting to the court size. His players are used to their own gymnasium which is big and allows them to run the fastbreak. Riverside's smaller, extra loud gym was much different. Riverside got out to its big lead early by pounding the ball inside. In the second quarter alone, the Frontiers had 10 baskets in the paint.
But in a high-flying third quarter, Canty hit four three-pointers to get McKinley back into it. "We're happy with the win but we're going to go back and work on the fundamentals, boxing out and defense," Dorsey said. "We'll build on it. We're not going to look past any of our opponents."
Timon hockey wins in OT
By the third game, it was expected. Timon-St. Jude had already played in overtime in both of their nonleague games earlier in the season with Canisius. Thursday night, it reached the extra session again. And this time, Joona Tolvanen was the hero, scoring 32 seconds into overtime to lead Timon-St. Jude to a 3-2 win.
Tolvanen scored two goals and goalie Bob Milewski made 32 saves to lead Timon-St. Jude (10-6, 6-1). Prior to this clash, the two hockey teams had split their two overtime games.
"I thought our kids worked really hard," Timon coach Jean Overdorf said. "They have a bigger school than we do but our kids were determined."