You couldn’t ask for a better matchup than the one that featured Canisius and Aquinas on Saturday afternoon.
Cansius is the defending CHSAA Class A state champion, while Aquinas is the defending NYSPHAA Class AA state champion.
The Crusaders earned bragging rights over the Rochester-area school with a 43-38 win. It was the championship game in the Tom Keenan Classic at Canisius.
“It was a slugfest,” coach Kyle Husband said. “It was very different than yesterday, which had a little more offense. It was a case of two teams that weren’t making many shots.”
The first quarter set the tone, as the Crusaders led by 9-8. The Canisius lead was two points at halftime, and one after three periods. The Crusaders finally earned a little breathing space in the final quarter.
“We were scrapping it out,” Husband said. “We had to fight through some early-season ugly to get the win. We didn’t have our 'A' game, but the guys kept fighting.”
Jayce Johnson had 12 points to lead Canisius, while Nicholas MacDonald and Brendan Trapper had 10. Aquinas was led by Jalen Pickett, who finished with 23 to earn MVP honors.
Big St. Joe’s win
St. Joe’s had a dramatic nonleague game against St. John’s the Baptist in Long Island. The Marauders trailed by 23 points in the third period, only to explode with 32 fourth-quarter points. It led to a 84-74 win.
Five different players were in double figures, led by Jack Capen’s 16 points - 12 of which came in the third quarter - and Casey Kelly’s 13 points.
A big third quarter by V-University Prep was the difference in a 69-59 win over St. Francis in the Bella Pizza Tip-Off Tournament. Robert Welch led the Red Raiders with 21 points. In the consolation game, LGCastillo scored 27 points to lead Lancaster to an 88-66 win over West Seneca East. Castillo was part of the all-tournament team, which also included Julian Cunningham (St. Francis), Zamari Mitchell (WSE), Tamar Jackson (UPrep), and Jabez Thomas (UPrep).
Roy-Hart was no match for V-Oakfield-Alabama in the championship game of the Roy-Hart Tournament, as the Rams dropped a 62-32 decision. Jacob Bruning led Roy-Hart with 12 points. In the consolation game, Tonawanda edged V-Holley, 58-54; Charles Moore had 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Warriors.
Hawks win in Syracuse
In girls basketball, powerful Cardinal O’Hara is on the road again. The Hawks ventured to the Syracuse area for a tournament, and they beat Albertus Magnus, 71-60, of Clarkstown in the first-round game. Anndea Zeigler had 17 points and nine rebounds for the Hawks, while Cori Dickson added 15 points and Kiera Johnson scored 12 points.
Cardinal O’Hara will play the winner of the game between Bishop Kearney and Jamesville-Dewitt in the finals on Sunday.
Emmalea Erlandson and Marissa Hamilton took charge for Ellicottville against Frewsburg Saturday afternoon. Erlandson had 18 points, while Hamilton had 10 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists, five blocks and three steals. That added up to a 46-42 win in the Ellicottville Tournament for the 4-0 Eagles. Gabby Iuculano had 22 points for the Bears.
In the Rick Hughes Memorial Tournament, Danielle Haskell had 23 points for Franklinville while Allyson Haskell added 20 in a 48-34 win over Wilson. Kayla Neumann scored 15 points, with a couple of three-pointers, for the Lakewomen.
In ECIC I, Lancaster knocked off Jamestown, 63-49. Molly Mahony had 21 points and seven steals while Alyssa Kranz had 20 points and seven assists.
Huskies take event
Olean took home top honors in the Orchard Park wrestling tournament. The Huskies finished with 190.5 points, ahead of Iroquois and the Quakers.
Olean had five champions: Nick Bierfeldt (106), Taureece Jackson (113), Jake Bartlett (126), Ike Simon (152), Keggan Belleisle (160), and Patrick Walsh (182).
However, Joe Ramunno of West Seneca East (285) was named the most outstanding wrestler. He finished his tournament with a pin in 2 minutes and 30 seconds.