Thanks in large part to tremendous performances from two Tylers -- junior guard Tyler Martin and senior forward Tyler Truesdell -- Wilson held serve in the race for the Niagara-Orleans Championship.
Martin scored 23 points while Truesdell had 13 as the host Lakemen, who lost the first meeting between the top 10 small schools, edged rival Newfane, 49-44, before a capacity crowd at the Richard J. Zipp Athletic Center.
"It's a great group of kids, 12 kids that come every day and work hard at practice, and they were really down after that last game at Newfane," said Wilson coach Brett Sippel. "They were very similar games, and I'm really happy for the kids. They beat a very good team today. They deserve it."
Wilson fans flooded onto their home court after the buzzer and lifted the 5-foot-8 Martin up on their shoulders. His performance included five three-pointers and some clutch foul shots down the stretch.
The 6-2 Truesdell was a high-energy presence on the boards all evening for the Lakemen (10-3, 9-1), ranked sixth among small schools. Both performances were huge for the Lakemen as Wilson 6-1 senior standout Brennan Moxham had seven points under constant pressure from the Newfane defense.
"Tyler Martin had a great game," said Sippel. "The free throws were amazing. There was no doubt in my mind that he was going to make them. I know Brennan struggled a bit, but he had two huge charges in the fourth quarter and in my opinion might have sealed the game for us.
"Tyler Truesdell has been our unsung hero all season. He's very unselfish and a very good rebounder and he's had a great season -- and tonight was just another example of what he can do."
During a tight-scoring first half, Wilson led by 9-3 after one quarter and 18-13 at half. Newfane scored the first six points of the third quarter to take its first lead (19-18) and it was back-and-forth for much of the rest of the game.
Martin, who hit one of his threes early in the fourth, went 6 for 6 at the line in the final quarter, including two huge shots to make it a 47-44 game with 20.7 seconds remaining. Newfane missed its two three-point attempts.
"This is definitely one of the best experiences of my life," said Martin, who credited Moxham with getting rebounds that enabled Martin to go to the line late. "This atmosphere was intense. It's just amazing."
Wilson dropped the teams' first meeting, 69-66, at Newfane on Jan. 4. It has now won seven straight since that loss.
The Panthers (9-4, 9-1), ranked third among small schools, were led by 6-4 senior Rohn Pierce's 19.
For more details on the game, go to buffalonews.com; the latest episode of PrepTalkTV has video highlights and interviews while the Prep Talk blog has a running commentary from the game.