East used a big first quarter to take an early lead over Middle Early College and never looked back as the Panthers closed out the Kats, 70-65, to hand MEC its first Yale Cup loss on Friday.
David Hughes recorded a double-double in the win, draining 24 points and pulling down 21 rebounds. Danny Carter added 25 points and dished out six assists.
The Kats were led by Jakari Nettles, who scored 18 points.
It was a big win for a young East team as the Panthers have no seniors in the starting lineup. Only Hughes has varsity game experience, according to coach Starling Bryant.
East kept the Kats’ offense quiet with a pressure defense in the first quarter. The press allowed the Panthers to take a 25-8 lead into the second quarter.
It was enough to hold off a late MEC comeback for the win.
South Park wins ugly
South Park coach Willie “Hutch” Jones was not happy in the aftermath of his team’s game with McKinley, despite the Sparks’ winning 71-68.
“I felt my team should have played a lot better tonight than we did,” he said. “McKinley outplayed us, simple as that.”
The Macks nearly completed a comeback by scoring 29 points in the fourth quarter.
Jones said the Sparks were able to take a “breather” and hold off the McKinley surge.
Anthony Mack led South Park with 16 points, 14 of which came from the charity stripe.
St. Mary’s stays perfect
A 67-40 win over Mount Mercy kept St. Mary’s of Lancaster undefeated this season. The Lancers are now 11-0 overall.
Shay Ciezki led St. Mary’s with 25 points, 12 of which were scored in the first quarter.
“Mercy is a tough place to play, they are an extremely well-coached team,” said St. Mary’s coach Jason Kline.
Kline used heavy pressure to tire the Magic’s shooters, before switching to an aggressive man-to-man defense.
“Even if you give up points early, you keep the pressure on,” he said.
Kline knows that being undefeated can put turn up the pressure on his team.
“You’re a target, they want to knock you off,” he said.
The Lancers now have a good chance to make the Monsignor Martin finals, and Kline and his team know one school awaits.
“We still have to beat O’Hara,” he said.
Hawks top Thunder
Aaliyah Parker scored 26 points as Cardinal O’Hara defeated Mount St. Mary’s, 83-77, in a game that assistant coach Mike McCarthy said wasn’t as close as the score suggests.
“We were playing our bench in the first quarter,” he said.
Lois Garlow led the Thunder with 37 points, including four 3-pointers. Most of those points, McCarthy said, were scored late.
Asked about a potential championship meeting with St. Mary’s, McCarthy said the Lancers could beat “anybody” with a “shooter’s chance.”
“Whoever’s making shots is making that game,” he said.
St. Mary’s and Cardinal O’Hara will meet for the first time this season on Jan. 9.
Wood sinks 45 in big win
City Honors’ Kyra Wood picked up right where she left off from last season.
The sophomore put up 45 points as part of a double-double in a 79-11 win over I-Prep. She grabbed 10 rebounds and had seven steals.
Wood was named to the All-WNY team last season and is averaging 29.7 per game this season.
Olean preserves streak
Olean took control of its game with Fredonia early en route to a 72-53 win.
It was the Huskie’s 73rd home victory in a row. They remain undefeated this season at 10-0.
Mike Schmidt led Olean with 23 points.