Williamsville earns tie
Williamsville avoided its first loss of the season when Leah Czerwinski scored with 41 seconds left in regulation during a 3-3 tie with Frontier/Lake Shore/Orchard Park in a Western New York Federation girls hockey contest between two of the top teams in the league.
Czerwinski scored off an assist by Kaylee Conover (two assists), as Williamsville rallied from deficits of 2-0 and 3-1 to improve to 14-0-3.
It will be the top seed for the playoffs. Williamsville is 2-0-1 against Frontier/Lake Shore/Orchard Park this season.
FLOP will be the second seed in the Section VI Tournament, which begins Feb. 2 as it has won a program-record 14 games in Bob Klimowicz’s first season. Klimowicz was the longtime coach of Frontier’s boys hockey team before moving over to the girls side this season.
Mary Kromer led FLOP with two goals and an assist, while teammate Riley Johnson had a goal and an assist.
Ken West beats Falls
The race for the Niagara Frontier League boys basketball crown bears watching during the next three weeks as there are five teams still in the hunt for the league championship.
That includes Kenmore West, which made the situation a little more crowded by beating Niagara Falls, 65-55. Tal James led the winners with 20 points and five steals, while Tyler Aquilina had 16 points and 10 boards for the Blue Devils, who avenged an earlier loss to Falls this season.
Grand Island and North Tonawanda each have two league losses, while Ken West, Falls and Lockport each have three. Ken West has two wins over Lockport and a loss to NT.
“You could potentially have five teams in first place,” West coach Mike Meetze said.
Ken West led by four with under two minutes left but its zone defense forced the Wolverines into misses. The Blue Devils made eight of nine free throws down the stretch to close their first win over Niagara Falls in two years.
MEC wins friendly rivalry
Middle Early College coach Randall Rich and Health Sciences counterpart Ty Parker have a history. The two coached together from 2010-14 at Middle College, with Parker serving as an assistant during a run in which the Kats won three of their collection of Section VI titles.
The two’s boys basketball teams could meet again with something more than bragging rights on the line.
In a potential playoff preview, Middle College edged top-ranked small school Health Sciences, 54-51, in a game played at City Honors.
In a tight contest in which few fouls were called, the Kats received contributions from plenty to earn the win, with 5-foot-9 Derrick Bishop recording 14 points and nine rebounds. Hakeem Dobbins led the winners with 15 points, as Middle College went 13 for 16 at the line.
The Kats also received two huge threes from point guard Nader Kompany, who was limited to just under 5 minutes due to injury. Aziyon Clemons had a career-high eight assists filling in for Kompany, while Zach Jones came off the bench to grab 10 rebounds and played well defensively.
Middle College (9-4) changed up defenses throughout to slow down a high-flying Falcons (13-4) team that scored fewer than 60 points for just the third time in 17 games.
Davonte Gaines led the Falcons with 14 points.
Grand Island hockey rallies for win
Grand Island overcame a two-goal deficit to stay unbeaten in Western New York Federation boys hockey play as the Vikings defeated North Tonawanda, 3-2.
Cam Collignon’s goal with 20.2 seconds left proved to be the game-winner as good forechecking by Anthony DeSimone forced a turnover behind net. He then made a quick pass in front to Collignon who one-timed it past the goalie to help Grand Island improve to 9-0-1 in league and 9-2-2 overall. Zach Valvo’s goal on an end-to-end rush during the second period sparked GI’s rally. Tom Cecere scored 47 seconds into the third period to tie it.
Williamsville North won the 451st game in program history, beating Lancaster 2-0 on goals from Brett Sardina and Josh Surowiec. Jake Zurat made 28 saves for the shutout.
Sectional wrestling field set
The first Section VI Dual Meet Team Championships begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at Starpoint High School.
Eight large schools and eight small schools will take part in the first-ever tournament organized by Section VI.
The tournament was created because the state added a dual-meet championship to its team tournament roster effective next season.
The Division I (large school) field includes ECIC champion Clarence, Lockport, Lancaster, Niagara Wheatfield, Grand Island, Lake Shore, Starpoint and Frontier.
The Division II tournament includes Falconer, Pioneer, Olean, Newfane, Chautauqua Lake, Depew/Cleveland Hill, Fredonia and Gowanda.
The finals start at 4 p.m.