Clarence takes Border Brawl
Freshman Austin Czaja delivered with a clutch victory at 96 pounds to help the Clarence wrestling team defeat Lancaster in the seventh annual Border Brawl.
The Red Devils' 33-30 home victory played out before a packed house on Friday night. It was the first win for the Red Devils in the series with the neighboring Redskins. The victory clinched the ECIC I title for Clarence, its first since 1994-1995, according to coach Jason Chase.
Wrestling in the last match, Czaja won 4-3, despite a hand injury, touching off a lively celebration among the Clarence faithful.
"Austin found a way to win it at the end," said Chase, whose team finishes 8-0. "It's the first time beating Lancaster and we wrestled fantastic. From top to bottom, we found a way to win."
Junior Nate Bartell, who usually wrestles 189, pinned his opponent at 215. Other winners for Clarence were Ryan Burns (103), Joe Kurtz (145), Nate Schwab (152), Jake Weber (160), Andrew Paulsen (171) and Travis Greiner (189).
Clarence swimmers sink OP
The Clarence boys swimming team likely earned a share of the ECIC I title in beating host Orchard Park, 103-83, on Friday. The tight meet was decided on the touch-outs for third, fourth and fifth place. Clarence, OP and Williamsville North each have one loss with one week remaining in the regular season.
"I started to feel confident around the 500. I thought we had enough in the breast and back we'd be fine," said Clarence coach Eric McClaren.
Among the many highlights for the Red Devils was their 400 free relay team hitting the state cut time with a 3:20.58. Charlie Rommel won the 50 free, the 100 butterfly and was on the 400 free relay. Ryan Saenger and Kevin Kreher went 1-2 in the 100 free.
"To make that cut was a big deal," said McClaren. "We didn't know if we were going to have to shave, and now you could say that's out of the way."
OP's Spencer Bray won the 200 and 500, and senior Pat Ring won the diving. OP won the 200 medley and 200 free relay.
Kapuscinski pours in 36
Candis Kapuscinski had a season-high 36 points, leaving her 27 points shy of 1,000, as Holland beat Alden, 68-41, in an ECIC IV girls basketball game. Kapuscinski is also on track to become the program's all-time leading scorer.
St. Mary's fell to Aquinas, 67-58, in a battle of teams ranked among the top five in the state in Class B. The No. 3 Lancers (12-4) got 18 points from Raeann Stilwell. St. Mary's was slowed by a seven-point third quarter. Aquinas improves to 13-1. Locally, St. Mary's is the No. 1 ranked small school.
Sarah Pawlak was one of 10 players who scored for Sacred Heart in a 62-28 win over Holy Angels. Pawlak netted 22 points with seven rebounds and Katie Healy added 12 points with six boards for the Sharks (14-1, 8-0).
Shannon Dougherty had 14 points as West Seneca West led most of the way in a 54-50 win over Clarence in ECIC I.
Shannon Hughes had 14 points and Shannon Klun grabbed 13 rebounds as Williamsville East used an 18-2 run in the second half to beat Starpoint, 47-42 in ECIC II. East was 15-19 from the line.
Kenmore East bowler wins
A sophomore girl from Kenmore East averaging 165 was the talk of the Niagara Frontier League bowling individual tournament on Friday at Rapids Bowling Center in Niagara Falls.
Meghan Michaels of the Bulldogs won the high individual series with a 723 and teamed with Ashley Drabczyk of Lew-Port to capture the doubles title.
Michaels started the day with a 205 game. In the second game she went strike, strike, missed two 10 pins and then had the next seven strikes in a row for a 232. In the third game, she started with 10 strikes before settling for a 286.
"In the past week she starting getting a little more turn on the ball and a better roll," said Kenmore East coach Brian Stone. "She's at a 165 average, so for her to do this is just awesome."
The Lou Marcantonio Shoot-Out Champion award went to Jake Wisor of Niagara Falls (boys) and Vienna Mills of Niagara-Wheatfield.
The boys high series was a 730 by Tom Kalman of Grand Island. The boys high game was a 279 by Richie Maslen of Niagara Falls. The boys doubles champions were Alex Kieffer of North Tonawanda and Troy Licastro of Niagara-Wheatfield with a 1,327.
For the girls, Brianna Larson of North Tonawanda had the high game at 244.