Lackawanna shrugged off a 17-3 first-quarter deficit and came back to defeat Burgard, 55-50, in their Class B-1 quarterfinal in the Section VI boys basketball playoffs Tuesday night at Bennett High.
"It wasn't so much what we were running but how we were running it -- it was the effort," said Lackawanna coach Tim Foley. "They could have shut it down and stuck their tail between their legs, but they fought back. They came through. I'm really proud of these guys."
"I was just thinking that this could be my last game," said Raytrel Finley, Lackawanna's only senior. "I just wanted to win this game. Next we go to Olean and shock the world (in Friday's quarterfinals)."
The Steelers didn't catch up until the fourth quarter. It was 36-34 at the end of the third. Damon Sylvers, one of four Lackawanna players in double figures, scored nine of his 12 points in the fourth quarter, including two three-pointers.
Finley also had 12 points and caused ballhandling problems for Burgard with his defensive pressure. Norman Sweat also had 12 for Lackawanna while Shaquille Brooks added 10. Rzyiell Kiegler of Burgard took game high-scoring honors with 19 points.
In another B-1 clash, fifth-seeded East scored a fairly routine, 65-34 win over Springville. Panthers coach Starling Bryant thinks the experience will help his young team grow a little more.
"Every game we can get under our belt helps out. We're coming of age, getting better and better," Bryant said.
East senior Dequan Griggs and two talented sophomores, 6-foot-8 Tyree Tyson and point guard Jonathon Lewis, led the way. Griggs scored 16 points. Tyson took control of the game early, scoring 10 of his 18 points in the opening quarter and dominating inside with three blocked shots. Lewis had 15 points, including a perfect night from the foul line.
Zack Stone had 22 points, nine rebounds and four steals in leading Alden over Buffalo Arts, 62-36. The Bulldogs will play at No. 2 seed Tonawanda on Friday.
Jon Gemerek scored all 17 of his points in the second half as Depew pulled away for a 60-49 triumph over visiting Medina. Derrick Sekuterski also scored 17 for the Wildcats and had 11 rebounds.
Class AA: Lockport will move on to a quarterfinal at No. 2 seed Niagara Falls after a 73-50 win over visiting Lancaster. Diantre Cullens had 18 points, Nick DeMartile 12 and Shaun Allen 11 points and 10 assists to lead the Lions.
Williamsville North held Niagara-Wheatfield to eight second-half points and went on to a 47-31 triumph. Sophomore Sterling Taplin led the Spartans with 13 points.
Matt McCormick (26) and Neil Farrell (24) combined for 50 points to lead Orchard Park past Clarence, 69-61.
Ryan Bradt had 19 points and seven rebounds, Corey Mis scored 17 and Joseph Curry had nine assists to lead North Tonawanda over West Seneca West, 58-29, in Class AA.
Class A-1: Thomas Lipomi hit an off-balance shot with .4 seconds left to lift Hamburg past Grand Island, 52-51. Nick Benningfield led the Bulldogs with 22 points while Griffin Ryan contributed 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Hutch-Tech took an 18-point halftime lead in its 70-31 victory over Starpoint. Tim Whitehead had 12 rebounds and Denzell Washington seven assists for the Engineers.
Class B-2: City Honors had a pair of 24-point scorers, Jamaal Carter and Howard Washington, in its 77-49 victory over Falconer. Class C-2: I-Prep at Grover Cleveland rolled past Buffalo Science, 85-47. Maurice Cheatom led I-Prep with 32 points.