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East Aurora is on the mark in capturing Section VI Class B-1 title

It's hard to believe a team on a long winning streak would be experiencing any sort of struggles.

Yet, the word struggle came out of Nick Montgomery's mouth following East Aurora's no-doubt-about-it 75-39 triumph over Newfane during Saturday afternoon's Section VI Class B-1 championship game.

"We’ve had great ball movement all year but we haven't had shots go down," said Montgomery.

Until Saturday, that is.

The top-seeded Blue Devils sizzled with their shooting before an estimated 1,500. They drained 10 three-pointers with senior Cal McTigue hitting four of them during a 20-point effort. His classmate Montgomery had two treys and finished with a game-high 24 points as East Aurora won its first title since 2012.

"It feels really, really good," Blue Devils coach Chris Koselny said. "I've got a group of seniors that have done any and everything I've asked of them. … I can't tell you how proud I am of them and what they just did for our school, for themselves … and for their basketball program."

The long ball enabled EA (20-3), winners of 10 straight, to turn a close game into a rout in a hurry.

Third-seeded Newfane, which was trying to win its first title since 1980, trailed throughout but whittled a seven-point deficit through one quarter down to 18-15 early in the second quarter. That's when EA put the Panthers away with a trio of three-pointers. Josh Denz (13 points) canned two of his three treys on consecutive possessions to push the lead to 24-15 with 4:59 left in the quarter. After a Newfane timeout, McTigue connected from downtown. EA led 36-21 at halftime.

Montgomery and McTigue each hit three-points in the third quarter as EA extended its lead to 54-30 heading into the final quarter.

"It helped us settle down today," said Montgomery. "We just kind of loosened up today and hit shots."

Max Welch had 15 points to lead Newfane (16-7), while Kyle DeVoogel added 14.

Up next will be the overall Class B final at 6 p.m. Tuesday against Class B-2 champion Health Sciences. The winner advances to Far West Regionals on March 11 at Rush-Henrietta High School against the Section V champion.

EA and Health Sciences are ranked 1-2 in the News' Small Schools poll.

"This is what we play for," Koselny said. "We know what they bring. We're ready to play against them. … It's going to be a lot of fun on the big floor Tuesday night."

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