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High School Extra (Jan. 3): Park subdues Kearney in double OT to remain unbeaten

Park beats Kearney in 2 OT

Park School (7-0) preserved its undefeated record Saturday, but the Pioneers, ranked second among News Large Schools and first in the state Class A poll, had to work extra hard for a 105-96 victory in double overtime over Bishop Kearney of Rochester.

Jordan Nwora led Park with a game-high 35 points, but Kyle Harris came through with 22 and freshman guard Noah Hutchins had 20. Quinten Rose led Kearney with 21 and Nahziah Carter added 20 and Rian Carter had 18.

Coach Michael Battaglia’s Park team, the 2015 State Federation Class B champions, had to overcome an 11-point (69-58) fourth-quarter deficit. Kearney tied the game at the end of regulation on a pair of free throws by Nahziah Carter with 17 seconds to go. Kearney forced the second overtime when Shykell Brown hit a three-pointer with 34 seconds left in the session.

Park had one last possession but lost the ball on a charging foul.

A three-point shot by Nwora started a 7-0 run that put the Pioneers in charge of the second overtime. That made it 95-86 and Park finished off a 22-point extra frame with some clutch foul shooting. A dunk by Nwora put the Pioneers over the 100-point mark.

“It was one of those games where they had to foul and we made our foul shots,” Battaglia said. “Noah Hutchins was clutch at the line.

“When they got up by 11 in the fourth quarter, we stayed pretty poised about the situation. After playing together and winning a state championship we were ready for those situations.”

Bishop Kearney (5-5) was coming off an 86-81 loss to Shenendehowa in the national division championship game of the Josh Palmer Tournament in Elmira.

The Kings have also lost to state-ranked Canisius and Amherst.

North’s streak reaches seven

Seven proved to be a lucky number for Williamsville North as the Spartans hockey team extended its winning streak to seven, beating Kenmore East, 4-2, in a Western New York Federation contest at Northtown Center.

One day after playing and enjoying a victory over Williamsville South in the great outdoors at the Buffalo RiverWorks, North completed a tough week by beating last year’s Section VI Division II runner-up behind Derek Westbrook’s hat trick.

He scored twice on the power play and once short-handed for coach Bob Rosen’s crew. Noah Bachwitz and Josh Surowiec each had two assists, while Brett Sardina also scored for the Spartans (7-3).

Westbrook’s three-goal effort Saturday gives him five goals in his last two games as he scored twice in Friday’s 5-4 win over the Billies.

The contest closes out a string of four games in five days for Williamsville North, which opened the week by winning two games in Albany to capture the title at the Shenendehowa Tournament.

“We were doing some things well in the three losses, but we really started putting it all together in the third period of that loss to Canisius,” said Rosen, referring to the 4-1 defeat in which they had the better of the play during the final 15 minutes to help spark the streak. “We took the momentum from that loss and started playing a complete game and doing the little things well.”

State soccer honors for nine

Grand Island’s Troy Brady and East Aurora’s Noah Thompson are among the top soccer players in the state as they are among nine boys soccer to earn all-state honors. Brady earned first-team Large School honors, while Thompson earned first team Small School laurels.

Others honored include:

Large schools: Third team - Parker Shelton (Lancaster). Fourth team - Joey Keem (Sweet Home), Donald Minderler (St. Joe’s). Sixth team - Will Smith (Hamburg).

Small Schools: Second team – Ali Shawish (Lackawanna). Fourth team – Bailey Higby (Allegany-Limestone). Fifth team – Matthew Ess (Alden).