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Gaines takes charge in leading Health Sciences to second straight sectional title

Health Sciences did it again.

Behind strong performances from Tennessee-bound product Davonte Gaines and Kameron Briggs, the Falcons captured their second straight Section VI Class B-2 championship with a 67-35 victory over John F. Kennedy on Saturday afternoon at the Buffalo State Sports Arena.

Gaines scored 13 of his game-high 26 points during the opening eight minutes to help Health Sciences seize control right from the start before an estimated 1,000.

They saw Gaines, the Tennessee commit, have a big game on the big stage as he notched a triple-double that included 16 rebounds and 11 assists to go with six steals and four blocks as the Falcons earned a return date to Buffalo State on Tuesday where they will face Class B-1 champion Olean for the overall B crown.

"Our guys work hard. … I'd just like to tip my hat to the guys and the coaching staff, back to back D2 championships," Health Sciences coach Ty Parker said. "It is a good accomplishment for our guys. I'm just happy for our guys because they put the work in and these are the results when you put the work in."

Briggs added 12 points for Health Sciences, the Buffalo News' top-ranked Small School.

Briggs scored the first five points of the game -- including a layup right off the opening tip won by Gaines as Health Sciences bolted to an 8-2 lead. Clinging to 8-6 lead after a Jordan Snyder layup, Gaines – known as Ticket – took charge, scoring on two putbacks and a three-pointer. He scored 13 of his team's final 14 points to end the first quarter.

He took a seat the final 4:37 of the first half after a steal and dunk made it 29-12. The Falcons led 36-21 at halftime.

"Going into sectionals I felt like Davonte wasn't playing his old aggressive style of basketball," Parker said. "If you're one of the best basketball players in Western New York you have to show up. When the lights came on and the stage was set (Saturday) he showed up. ... I'm proud of him."

Jacob Braniecki had 16 points to lead JFK (17-6), which was trying to win its first sectional crown since 1995.

After yielding 12 points in the first quarter, the Falcons' defense got stingier -- which included yielding just 14 second-half points.

"Defense is going to drive us throughout the whole playoffs," Gaines said.

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