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High School Extra (Jan. 23): Billies stage rally; O’Hara piles up points

Billies stage rally

Williamsville South had a serious scare at the start of its boys basketball game with Starpoint on Friday night.

“They got up, 17-3, in the first quarter,” Billies coach Gabe Michael said, “But we’re a veteran team, and we got it back to being down one at the half.”

Then the offense really kicked in, scoring 47 points in the second half. That led to a 75-63 win over the Spartans. Chris Nodine led Starpoint with 22 points.

Foster scores winner

Sometimes the plays work just the way they are supposed to work.

Middle Early College and East were deadlocked at 58-58 in the final seconds. Then MEC went to work.

“We ran a play off a screen,” Middle Early coach Randall Rich said. Jared Foster “slipped off a screen and was wide open for a layup off a nice bounce pass with four seconds left.” That was the difference in a 60-58 win.

Rich said it was a back-and-forth game.

“They were ahead, and we had a great third quarter,” he said. “Then both teams stalled on offense in the fourth quarter. We were up five, and they hit two threes. We both slopped our way along.”

Foster finished with 16 points and 18 rebounds, while Joseph Staton had 23 points and Amir Jemes had 12 assists, including the big one at the end. Middle Early improved its record to 9-6, 7-1 in the Yale Cup. Justin Allen led East with 17 points.

In a Charter Cup game, Tapestry had five players in double figures - led by Roderick Arrington’s 15 - in a 64-57 win over Oracle Charter. Kenny White had 33 points for Oracle.

O’Hara piles up points

Cardinal O’Hara is in the top 10 in the large school polls this week, and the Hawks showed some offensive might in their latest win. They defeated Nichols, 87-74. Justin Hemphill had 25 points, Rene Velazquez scored 22, and Charles Debose added 18.

St. Joe’s outscored St. Francis, 12-5, in overtime, to take a 74-67 decision. Nicholas Motley led the Marauders with 24 points, while Anthony Brophy added 18 - including seven in OT. Julian Cunningham and Bo Sireika had 17 each for St. Francis.

Elsewhere, TC Brown had 32 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists and six steals for Amherst in an 87-55 win over Cheektowaga. Devin Pope had 33 points, including seven three-pointers, to lead Chatauqua Lake past Falconer, 84-67.

Flames keep busy

It was the third game in four nights for the Williamsville East girls basketball team. The Flames certainly didn’t look tired in a 59-48 nonleague win over Clarence.

Erica Martinsen had the latest in a series of good games for Williamsville East (11-2). She had 20 points to go with seven assists and eight steals.

“It was a great all-around game,” coach Chris Durr said. “She had 18 points at halftime, but she didn’t really need to shoot the ball. Rachel Romanowski was 6 for 7 from the floor. Audrey McNamara had her best game of the year with eight points.

“Erica’s been playing better every game, stepping up in spots, and we’re starting to play better around her. Other people are knocking shots down.”

Elsewhere, Wilson used strong defense to knock off CSAT, 41-28. The Lakewomen only allowed their opponents to score 12 points in the first half, and went on to win their 53rd straight game in Niagara-Orleans play. Kayla Neumann had 14 points and 10 rebounds for Wilson, while Rachel Senek added 11 points.

Sacred Heart, ranked second among large schools, improved to 11-2 with a 69-44 win over Christian Central. Kathleen Ryan had 20 points.

East Aurora picked up a nice 42-32 win over its neighbor, Orchard Park. Sarah Fiscus and Julianna Meisenheimer led the Blue Devils with 10 points each.