Nothing fazes Greg Dolan when he’s on the hardwood.
A turnover? He’s the first man back on defense. A bad shot? He’s crashing the boards for an offensive rebound. Hamburg pulls within seven points with four minutes to go in the A-1 semifinals? He goes out and scores nine of Williamsville South’s last 16 points, leading his team to a 19-point win.
“He’s unbelievable. He’s most comfortable on the basketball court,” South coach Gabe Michael said. “Nothing bothers him and mistakes don’t matter. He just knows we’re on to the next play, and you preach that to so many kids and they never do it. Greg just innately has it.”
Will South’s sophomore star poured in 31 points, dished out eight assists and grabbed eight rebounds (five offensive) to lead the No.1-seeded Billies (19-3) past No. 4 Hamburg (10-12), 68-49, in the Class A-1 semifinals Tuesday night at Buffalo State.
“Especially at Buff State, it’s a game where you can’t look back on your mistakes because if you do they’re just going to jump right back on you,” Greg Dolan said. “I threw some bad passes, had some bad turnovers, but I just gotta get back because they like to throw it ahead and get points in transition.”
It wasn’t all Greg Dolan for the Billies. His brother, Graham Dolan, contributed 12 points while Myles Hall had 10. Brendan Ryan led Hamburg with 14 points and Ryan Dils had 10.
Hamburg opened up the game with a 6-1 lead, but the Billies outscored the Bulldogs 20-8 the rest of the first quarter behind 16 combined points from the Dolans (Greg 9, Graham 7). South extended its first quarter lead to 12 by halftime, 33-21.
The Bulldogs got their deficit down to single digits in the second half four separate times, three times in the third quarter and the final instance midway through the fourth to make it 52-45. The Billies had an answer each time.
“We just knew we had to keep attacking and keep playing our game,” Greg Dolan said. “When we get in the paint and keep kicking it out on offense we’re tough to beat. They sat in with their 1-2-2 so we ran some zone plays and adjusted. They would just keep coming at us but we kept countering it.”
The Billies will be making a return trip to Buffalo State Saturday for the A-1 final at 7 p.m. Who they’ll face will be determined Wednesday when No. 2 McKinley and No. 3 South Park suit up for the third time this year. McKinley won both Yale Cup I matchups by a combined 64 points this season.
Williamsville South and McKinley have combined for the last nine Class A-1 titles. Saturday’s A-1 championship will make it 10 straight if the Macks pull out a win.
“We have a lot of respect for McKinley,” Michael said. “There’s a reason we treat that game so seriously and there’s a reason we’ve been watching them all year. It’s not because we think we’re going to beat them, it’s because we know we’re in for a battle if we play them.”