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Quick hits: Cheektowaga 73, Maryvale 47

There's no telling how a rivalry game will go since they're usually intense due to players riding the wave of emotions.

Cheektowaga did that and more.

Emotion, along with the ability to run enabled Cheektowaga to pull away from its town rival, 73-47, before a packed gym at Maryvale.

Dominick Welch continued to inch closer to the Western New York scoring record as he scored 16 of his game-high 26 points after halftime. He also had 16 rebounds, eight assists and four blocks as he impacted the game in different ways.

Teammate Rudy Bragg added 13 points as Cheektowaga kept hope alive for securing a share of the ECIC III title.

Pulling away: Welch had a hand in that. He scored seven points in the third quarter, as a 29-22 halftime lead turned into a 44-32 edge entering the fourth quarter. Welch also had two assists in the quarter. His best shot was a quick turnaround jumper for three from the left corner that made it 34-22 just 1:36 into the period.

Welch came into the game averaging more than 27 points per game a year after averaging 29 ppg en route to All-Western New York first team honors.

Quotable: Cheektowaga coach Pat Cullinan on his team: "Obviously everyone knows about Dom. That's not in question. The supporting cast we have is pretty good. If everyone is doing their job and role we can do some things."

Stat watch: Ray Blackwell scored 13 of his 19 during the first half for Maryvale. With the Flyers' defense devoted its attention to Welch, the Warriors received a boost in the opening half from Bragg, who canned a pair of treys during an eight-point eruption.

The last time: When the teams met last month at Cheektowaga, the Warriors edged Maryvale 69-64 as Welch scored a game-high 44 points with 18 rebounds, seven assists and seven blocks to lead the winners.

Last year, Maryvale went 2-1 against its rival – ending Cheektowaga's season during the Section VI quarterfinals.

Born to run: Cheektowaga is tall and athletic. It flaunted that ability against a smaller Maryvale crew, as it built a lead scoring in transition and then when the Flyers threatened to rally, it used a quick 9-0 run over 86 seconds to take a 60-39 lead with 3 minutes, 54 seconds left.

That highlighted a 30-point fourth quarter for Cheektowaga.

Record watch: Welch came into Monday's game against rival Maryvale needing 167 points to set the all-time Western New York career scoring record. Former Burgard star from the late 1980s Ritchie Campbell holds the mark with 2,355 points.

Postseason sampling: Perhaps the only way Cheektowaga and Maryvale meet during the playoffs would be if both reached the Section VI Class A2 final. If that happens, they definitely would have earned nicknames such as battle-tested and survivors.

That's because the bracket has its share of teams that could wind up playing on Championship Saturday on March 4 at Buffalo State.

Amherst figures to be the top seed. Cheektowaga and South Park are vying for the second and third seeds. Last year's state Class B champion Olean, winners of nine Section VI titles the past 10 years in either Class A or B, is a dangerous No. 4 seed. Maryvale will be No. 5. Maryvale which beat Olean in overtime in December.

That could be an interesting quarterfinal with WNY all-time coaching wins leader Jeff Anastasia of Olean matching wits with Flyers veteran Mark Kensy, who has guided his team to at least the sectional semifinals 11 times the past 14 seasons.

Records: Cheektowaga is 11-7. Maryvale is 13-6.

Next: Cheektowaga hosts Lake Shore on Wednesday. Maryvale hosts No. 1-ranked small school East Aurora on Wednesday.

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