It’s been tough to be ranked No. 1 in The News’ boys basketball large school poll. Top-ranked St. Francis was the latest to fall, as the Red Raiders lost to Bishop Timon/St. Jude, 60-55. Master Radford blocked a three-point attempt by St. Francis in the final seconds to preserve the win, as the Tigers remained unbeaten at home this season.
Davion Warren had a big game with 28 points, 17 rebounds, four assists and three steals for the Tigers, who held off a spirited rally by the Red Raiders in the final seconds. Juston Johnson added 13 points. Juice Cunningham topped St. Francis with 15 points.
The MMAA standings became a little more cramped with that result. Bishop Timon and St. Francis moved into a tie at the top of the A League with 10-2 records. Park is a game behind at 9-3.
Aquinas, the defending state AA champion, knocked off its third Western New York team in a short span. It defeated No. 7 Canisius, 54-43.
Amherst clinched at least a share of the ECIC II title with a 54-48 win over Hamburg, as Da Shawn Hines had 13 points and 10 rebounds. The Tigers have won six straight division titles - the previous five coming in ECIC II.
Medina wrapped up its second straight Niagara-Orleans championship, after beating Barker, 80-42. Jalin Cooper had 23 points for the Mustangs.
O’Hara has big night
In girls basketball, No. 1 large school Cardinal O’Hara started quickly and had no trouble finishing off No. 7 Sacred Heart, 79-39. The Hawks moved to 8-0 in Msgr. Martin Athletic Association play.
Some league titles were wrapped up. Lake Shore wrapped up the ECIC III championship. The Eagles defeated Cheektowaga, 65-31. Shayla Scanlan had 17 points for Lake Shore (18-1, 11-1 ECIC III). Clarence captured the ECIC I crown with a 44-27 win over Orchard Park. Olean is the winner of the CCAA West 1 championship. Sara Pfeiffer poured in 36 points (six three-pointers) as the Huskies downed Southwestern, 68-37. Wilson won the Niagara-Orleans title, with a 47-40 win over Newfane. Rachel Senek finished with 21 points for the Lakewomen, who have won eight straight N-O crowns. Tonawanda’s Hope Balling had 12 points as the Warriors clinched the ECIC IV title by beating Alden, 41-25.
Short break for FLOP
Frontier/Lake Shore/Orchard Park went back to work on Tuesday after its appearance in the state finals. FLOP defeated Lancaster/Iroquois/Depew, 7-1, in the quarterfinals of the Federation tournament. Mary Kromer and Frangelica Bautz each had two goals for the Southtowns squad.
Elsewhere, Msgr. Martin edged West Seneca/Hamburg/Eden, 4-3. Kayla Blas of Sacred Heart had the game-winning goal for Msgr. Martin, which had a 59-18 edge in shots. Clarence/Amherst/Sweet Home slipped past Kenmore/Grand Island, 6-5.
MSM rolls to win
Mount St. Mary took home the team title at the All-Catholic girls bowling championships, which were held at Classic Lanes in Niagara Falls. Sacred Heart finished second, followed by Mount Mercy.
Megan Lewis of Sacred Heart was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament, with a 511 series. Molly Stoish (MSM), Bailey Huber (MSM), Samantha Batchey (MM) and Kelly Thomas (MM) also were named to the All-Catholic team.
Lowe is Sweet Home pick
Sweet Home Athletic Director Chris DeMarco confirmed that Rich Lowe has been recommended to fill the football coaching vacancy at the school.
The move needs to be approved by the school board to become official. The timetable for that is uncertain, although the board is scheduled to meet Tuesday night.
“I like his enthusiasm; I like his passion and commitment,” DeMarco said. “He’s a very dedicated individual. He’s been here a number of years. He loves Sweet Home football.”
Lowe is a physical education teacher in the district and has coached junior varsity at Sweet Home for several years, according to DeMarco.
If he is approved to the job, Lowe would become just the fourth varsity coach in the history of the program. He would succeed legendary John Faller, who opted to retire from coaching the sport last December after 30 years.