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High School Extra (Dec. 29): Canisius opens road trip; Olean takes title

Canisius opens road trip

The trip to the Washington area by the Canisius basketball team has gone well so far. The Crusaders defeated Regis of New York City, 62-51, in the opening round of the National Jesuit Christmas Classic in Bethesda, Md. Stafford Trueheart led Canisius with 17 points, while Will Atkinson had 15 points – including four three-pointers.

The Crusaders – who are ranked first among large schools locally – go right back to work late Tuesday afternoon with a matchup against Strake Jesuit of Houston.

In the Anthony Parlato Memorial Tournament in the New York City area, Amherst dominated in a 59-38 win over East Islip. TC Brown led the Tigers with 23 points.

St. Francis defeated previously unbeaten Lancaster, 58-53, to win its own tournament.

Chautauqua Lake knocked off Franklinville, 72-63, to take the small-school title in the IAABO Holiday Classic. The Panthers had been unbeaten. Olean took the large-school crown with a 59-35 win over Warren (Pa.). Olean’s Elijah Ramadhan was the event’s MVP.

Olean takes title

Two of the best girls basketball teams among small schools in Western New York squared off for the IAABO Holiday Classic. It was a matchup that deserved a big setting, and the Reilly Center at St. Bonaventure proved to be a good fit for Olean in a 56-46 win over Allegany-Limestone.

“Our girls can shoot around a bit there in the course of the year, but to play a game there – especially against a team like Allegany-Limestone – is a big thrill for them,” Olean coach Randy Samuelson said. “It never becomes ‘we’ve done this before.’ ”

The Huskies improved to 7-0, with sisters Sara and Gabby Pfeiffer leading the way. Sara, a freshman, had 21 points, while Gabby, a junior, added 16. The Pfeiffers helped the team play an excellent second half that turned the game in Olean’s favor.

“We were nervous in the first half – we missed five layups,” Samuelson said. “They responded well at halftime. They got an earful, and we outscored them, 40-24.”

Meanwhile, Cardinal O’Hara lost its first game of the season. The Hawks dropped a 66-61 decision to Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic (Pa.), a traditional power.

Erica Martinsen had 21 points to lead Williamsville East (6-0) to a 54-30 win over Cheektowaga in the Lancaster Tipoff Tournament.

St. Joe’s moves on

St. Joe’s picked up a 2-1 win over La Salle Academy (R.I) in the Mount St. Charles Holiday Faceoff in Rhode Island. Nicholas Carbone and Trevor Conschafter had the goals for the Marauders, while Daniel Mikolajczak had 22 saves.

Blue Devils honored

Three Western New York runners were selected for the first team for New York State in Class C cross country. Kenny Vasbinder and T.J. Murray of East Aurora were picked, along with Owen Barber of Allegany-Limestone.

Another Blue Devil, Ian Russ, was picked for the third team, and three more – Matt McLaughlin, Will Zink and Kevin Murnock, are on the fourth team.

In Class B, another local runner – Peter Rindfuss of Hamburg – was a first team pick. Chris Nowak of Sweet Home was on the second team. Ram Sambrotto of West Seneca East went on the fifth team.

In Class A, Connor Doran of Lockport was the top local runner, as he was placed on the third team. Matthew Mercer of Orchard Park made the fourth team, while Anthony Belfatto of St. Joe’s was chosen for the seventh team. In Class D, Maple Grove’s Ryan Hetrick and Sherman’s Henry Sullivan were selected for the second team in all-state picks. Frank Zuroski of Maple Grove is on the third team, while Josh O’Dell of Sherman is on fourth team.