Rusk wins ECIC singles
Showing unflappable demeanor, Mike Rusk of Williamsville East beat No. 1 seed Mike Kranz of Lancaster to win the ECIC tennis championship on Saturday at Sweet Home. Rusk took the first set 6-3 and won the second 7-6 (5).
"He was steady, he was consistent, he eliminated unforced errors and his serve was on fire," said ECIC chairman Jason Krasinski of Cheektowaga.
All is not lost for Kranz, as he lost in last year's ECIC final and went on to win the Section VI title.
In the doubles final, Clarence seniors Kevin Layer and Joe Gentile defeated Jacob Hoffmar-Glennon and Tyler Moore of Amherst, 7-5, 6-3. The next step for the duo is defending their Section VI title.
"It was a well-played doubles final. All four kids were such great servers," said Clarence coach Alex Chambers. "There were only two breaks of serve in the entire match. We had 11 service games without getting broken, which is pretty impressive."
The tournament was also the league qualifier for the sectionals May 22-25 at Lancaster. The ECIC will send five singles players: Rusk, Kranz, Brian Chowaniec of Lancaster, Joe Bartelo of Williamsville South and Harry Wang of Williamsville North.
The doubles teams moving on are the two teams in the finals, as well as Alex Quinlivan and Brendon Bardo of Amherst, August Buno and Sawyer Dina of Orchard Park and Mark Mackowski and Brian Rosiek of Sweet Home.
Amherst holds off Clarence
The Amherst boys lacrosse team hung on to beat Clarence, 11-10. The Red Devils scored the game's last two goals in the final 1:30 to make it close. The game had plenty of momentum changes. Amherst (10-5) led 6-2 in the first half and then found itself trailing 8-7 late in the third quarter. Ian Moeser, making his first start of the season in the midfield, delivered with three goals. Evan Thielman added two goals and four assists and goaltender Brian Thielman had 22 saves.
"He's a real shifty kid, real quick, like a buck-45," said Amherst coach Stefan Henn of Moeser. "We needed an initiator on the offensive end of the field like a point guard breaks people down. We rolled the dice and started him today and got a little spark."
Five win twice in tourney
Maryvale, Lackawanna, Iroquois, St. Mary's and Grand Island each won their two games Saturday in the 10th annual Immaculata Softball Tournament at the Hamburg Nike Base. Play continues today with eight games, including championships games in the gold, silver and bronze brackets at 3 p.m.
Maryvale beat a pair of teams from the Monsignor Martin Association. The Flyers downed Mount Mercy, 7-2, behind the nine-strikeout performance of starter Mindy Odrobina. Alyssa Melder had a home run among her two hits. Maryvale also beat Mount St. Mary, 11-2, as Caryn Duman fanned eight.
Lackawanna's victories also came at the expense of Monsignor Martin opponents. The Steelers beat host Immaculata, 9-2, as Amanda Mesi scattered five hits while striking out 13. Nicole Sorrentino had four hits in five trips. Kiera Diana had three hits and Melissa Stewart pitched a four-hitter as the Steelers (12-4) defeated Nardin, 10-4.
Junior pitcher Lauren Yaskow was named tournament MVP after leading Depew to a 4-1 win over Frontier in the B bracket final of the 15th Depew Tournament. She was the winning pitcher in two of the Wildcats' three tournament wins. Named all-tournament from the two finalist teams were: Angela Wiechelt of Depew and Kim Lotocki and Tina Castricone of Frontier.
The A bracket final between Clarence and Williamsville South is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday at Clarence at 4:30 p.m.
Big inning lifts St. Joe's
St. Joe's scored six runs in the top of the 13th inning to beat Christian Central, 9-3, in the Monsignor Martin Association. Don Kilian blasted a three-run home run to right center to highlight the big inning. Kilian also had a two-run home run in the sixth. Relief pitcher Tyler Mills pitched four scoreless innings to get the win. CCA tied the game, 3-3, in the bottom of the seventh on a two-run shot by Tim Coulter.
Jonah Heim doubled twice and drove in two runs as Amherst beat Sweet Home, 5-3, in the fourth annual Throwback Classic. Each team used wood bats and wore vintage uniforms from the 1980s. The win was the fifth in a row for the Tigers, who clinched the ECIC III title on Friday. Buffalo Bisons color man, Duke McGuire, served as P.A. announcer.
Clarence sweeps track titles
The Clarence boys and girls swept track and field titles Saturday at the Starpoint Team Challenge.
The boys ran away, scoring 127 points to runner-up Williamsville North's 53.5. The girls scored 76 points to edge Starpoint's 71.
Clarence's boys won six of 18 events, including all three relays. The 3,200 relay of Justin Bender, Alex Easton, Dan Huber and Ben Reinhardt broke the meet record in 8:22.77. Teaming up to win individual events were Justin Bender and Jackson Yerrick in the steeplechase (21:20.40), Justin Fitzgerald and Ryan Zielen in the pole vault (23-6) and Chad Mann and Sam Bonk in the discus (256-11).
The Clarence girls nailed down three victories as Jacqueline Huber and Justina Bonaventure won the steeplechase in 16:29.10. Kaitlyn McCadden and Dana Warner combined to win the 800 in 5:02.23. The 3,200 relay of Marissa Saenger, Huber, Emily Garrett, McCadden ran a 10:02.11.
The meet record in the 3,000 fell as Aileen Doyle and Alex Ortega of Sweet Home answered the bell in 21:22.9.
Frances Bull of Immaculata teamed with Erin Senor to win the 100 in 26.4 and joined forces with Kaitlyn Lopez to win the 200 in 54.44. Bull, Senor, Lopez and Samantha Grasso made up the winning 400 relay in 52.01. Lopez's third win of the day came in the long jump with Meghan Krawiec in 33-9.25.
Josette Dawson and Amina Lewis of Amherst won the 400 in 2:01.85. They teamed with Denee Tidwell and Emily Irish-Ryan to win the 1,600 relay in 4:10.38.
*Dominik Kosar of St. Joe's broke meet records in the shot put and discus at the 13th annual Royal Comet Invitational at Rush-Henrietta. Kosar won the shot in 55-7.50 and won the discus in 179-10, which was also a school record.
*Record-setting thrower Crystal Marion led St. Mary's School for the Deaf to a first-place finish at the Eastern School Deaf Athletic Association meet in Frederick, Md. The Saints scored 139 points to top a field of nine teams.
Marion broke the ESDA record in the shot put with a 36-7.25. She also won the discus in 104-11. Also earning a pair of first-place finishes was Shakenya Ward-Brassell in the high jump (4 foot, 6 inches) and the 100 hurdles (19.35). St. Mary's also swept the distance events as Monica Burger won the 1,600 in 6:56.98 and Sarah Flowers won the 3,200 in 15:24.
For the St. Mary's boys, Dustin Robinson was runner-up in the discus at 96-7.50.