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High School Extra (Jan. 29): Canisius beats Aquinas; Kenmore West hangs on

Canisius beats Aquinas

Two of the state’s best boys basketball programs battled for the second time this season, and once again Canisius got the better of defending Section V Class AA champion Aquinas, 56-55.

Seniors Stafford Trueheart and Justin Jones combined for the winning basket for the defending state Federation Class A champion Crusaders as Jones’ pass from the left corner to a cutting Trueheart led to a layup with four seconds left.

Aquinas opted to shoot a three from the corner, but Jones was there to contest the shot.

Canisius, the News’ No. 1 Large School and state’s second-ranked team in Class A, beat the Little Irish (14-2), ranked sixth in Class AA, 54-49 in the championship game of the Keenan Classic at Canisius in December.

The Crusaders (14-1) led by as many as 12 points in the third quarter but trailed for the first time 55-54 on Jamir Jones’ free throw with 30 seconds left.

Trueheart scored a game-high 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds, while Justin Jones had 16 points to go along with eight assists and five steals. Madut Ayiy recorded 10 points and eight boards for the winners.

“Our guys played well in the first half and they really stepped up and made plays when it mattered down the stretch,” Canisius coach Kyle Husband said.

The Crusaders’ have another tough one on the docket at 5:15 p.m. Saturday at defending Section V Class A champion Greece Athena.

Ken West hangs on

While Canisius and Aquinas figured to come down to the wire, Kenmore West didn’t expect to have too much trouble with Niagara Frontier League guest Grand Island. The last time the teams met, the Blue Devils cruised to a 65-28 win.

Thursday proved to be different as the game came down to the wire. Ken West still wound up on top, barely beating the Vikings, 48-46.

Tyler Aquilina’s free throw with five seconds left gave Ken West (12-4, 8-3) a two-point lead. The Blue Devils then survived a long desperation three-point try that did not miss by much, according to Ken West coach Mike Meetze. “We don’t care if we win by one or 20, we’ll take it.” he said.

Terrell Ford posted a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds for Ken West. Tal James led the Blue Devils with 14 points.

Jernard Jackson is now 11 points away from 1,000 for his career as his 25-point effort carried Lewiston-Porter to a 65-58 win over visiting Lockport. He also had six steals and six assists.

Lew-Port rallies for win

Trailing by one entering the third period, that’s when the Lewiston-Porter Lancers finally solved Lockport goalie Jack Igoe.

Braden Regis scored two of his three goals during the final 15 minutes, while Liam Mazierski’s swatted a rebound out of the air for the game-winning tally as Lew-Port edged the Lions, 4-2, in boys Federation hockey. The comeback thwarted a steal-the-show effort by Igoe, who finished with 44 saves.

Williamsville North extended its unbeaten streak to 13 with a 2-0 win over Clarence as Jake Zurat made 17 saves for the shutout.

In girls Section VI playoff action, Amherst/Sweet Home/Clarence advanced to the semifinals with a 4-1 win over Lancaster/Iroquois. The Katz face Orchard Park/Frontier at 5:30 p.m. Monday at Northtown Center.

Defending champion Kenmore/Grand Island will face top-seeded Williamsville in the 4 p.m. semifinal Monday as a result of its 7-2 win over West Seneca/Hamburg. Emily King recorded a hat trick for Kenmore/GI.