After a narrow loss in overtime in an upset bid at Park School last week, St. Francis pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 61-53 Monsignor Martin Association basketball victory over St. Joe’s Monday night in Athol Springs.
The visiting Marauders owned narrow leads at halftime (27-24) and the end of three quarters (39-37) before the Red Raiders outscored St. Joe’s 22-16 in the final period to improve its league record to 3-1 and stay ahead of Canisius (2-2) and St. Joe’s (2-3) in the standings.
Lucas Theisen led St. Francis with 15 points. Dorion Ivey had 13 and Justin Poumpey added 12.
Daesean Ashley led St. Joe’s with 15 points, Tino Martone had 13 points and Justin Glover 11 for the Marauders.
St. Francis has home games against undefeated Cardinal O’Hara and St. Mary’s of Lancaster this week before the Bishop Grimes MLK Classic Sunday and Monday in East Syracuse.
Zanghi out, but Lancers win
Playing without three-time first-team All-Catholic performer Caroline Zanghi, St. Mary’s of Lancaster rallied in the final four minutes for a 55-53 victory at Sacred Heart to remain undefeated.
The Lancers outscored the home team, 13-2, in the final four minutes. They got the tying basket from freshman Shay Ciezki with 18 seconds left. Then with the Sharks setting up for a possible winning shot, Ciezki stole the ball and scored on a layup with 3 seconds left.
St. Mary’s (13-0, 4-0 Monsignor Martin) was coming off an upset at Cardinal O’Hara in its last league game, handing the Hawks their first loss against local opposition since a loss to Sacred Heart in the 2013 Monsignor Martin playoffs championship game
Zanghi underwent oral surgery after he caught an elbow in the mouth in the O’Hara game. Her return to action is uncertain right now, according to St. Mary’s coach Jason Kline.
Ava Achtyl started in place of Zanghi and scored 10 first-half points.
"We’re learning how to play without her," Kline said of Zanghi. "We’ve been rolling eight players all year. Tonight we just went to seven."
Kline credited his team’s defense for the fourth-quarter comeback.
"Our defense held together and we got steals and turned them into fast break layups," Kline said.
Ciezki finished with 23 points, 11 in the fourth quarter.
Senior Siobhan Ryan and sophomore Rachel Adolf scored 14 points each for Sacred Heart (1-3 Monsignor Martin).
Ronnie Nwora goes over 1,000-points
Ronnie Nwora of Park School scored her 1,000th career point in Monday night's victory over Central Baptist. Nwora has committed to Georgia Tech which means she will join her brother, Jordan, playing in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Jordan Nwora, a former Park standout, is a starter for the Louisville Cardinals men's team.
Frontier goalie is busy again
Frontier goalie Jeffrey Pienta made 41 saves on Sunday in Frontier's 4-3 upset over Canisius in Western New York Boys Ice Hockey Federation play.
He was even busier on Monday at the Hamburg Town Rink against Williamsville North. The Spartans fired 51 shots at Pienta in a 9-1 victory over the Falcons.
The Spartans scored three power-play goals in the penalty-filled games. Mac Ward, Jacob Okulewicz, Mason Meggo had two goals each for North while Dominic Puma, David O'Donoghue and Tyler Turnerhad single tallies.
Ryan Messing scored on the power play for the only Frontier goal.