The Battle of Kenmore pitting rivals Kenmore East and Kenmore West is always a must-see event, but Friday’s matchup between the two teams was more special than usual.
The large crowd gathered at Kenmore West was also there to honor Julie Roth Neville, a beloved district teacher who passed away in October.
“Yes it’s the rivalry, but the true spirit of the night was to send as much love as we could to the family,” said Kenmore East girls coach Leslie Simon. “It’s her night, regardless of the final scores.”
The night, dubbed “Jamz for Julie,” honored the surviving family at halftime.
The crowd was treated to a doubleheader first featuring the girls teams and later the boys.
Kenmore East emerged victorious in the girls matchup, 32-29, after a strong defensive showing.
The Bulldogs were led by Arneice Wilkins with 10 points. Carianne McCarthy added eight, and was vital in stopping the Blue Devils’ dangerous forwards Asley Tucker and Mariah Huss.
After starting 1-9, Kenmore East has begin to turn its season around. Simon said that the improvement has been “100 percent” on his players.
“It’s what you do next that’s important,” he said.
The Kenmore West boys team took the court to warm up shortly afterwards, sporting Coaches Against Cancer t-shirts purchased beforehand, the idea of Blue Devils’ captains Dylan James and Zac Boyes.
James and Boyes led Kenmore West on the court as well; the former racked up 22 points and grabbed 15 rebounds while the latter logged 14 points en route to an emotional 66-48 win.
The play of freshman callup Sean Hargrave was also key to the win according to coach Mike Meetze.
The six-foot-two swingman sank three huge 3-pointers to lift Kenmore West.
Eagles take ECIC matchup
Iroquois made it interesting towards the end, but Lake Shore was able to refocus and pull out a 70-59 win in ECIC III play.
The Cornfield sisters, twins Tashawni and Noelani, led the Eagles’ offense with 18 points apiece.
Senior Celina Park logged 19 points as well, all from the floor.
Despite poor free throw shooting (Lake Shore was 0 for 19 in the first half according to coach Danielle Arnone), the Eagles were able to build a 59-31 lead headed into the final stanza.
The Chiefs scored 28 points in the fourth quarter to close the gap, but Lake Shore regrouped and kept the ball out of Iroquois’ hands to close them out.
Both of the Chiefs’ league losses this season have been to Lake Shore.
MST Seneca wins in OT
Two Indians logged double-doubles as MST Seneca knocked off Buffalo Arts in overtime, 82-79.
Senior Dujuan Franklin scored 15 points and pulled in 12 rebounds, while fellow senior Nick Price recorded 14 points and nabbed 13 boards.
Ibrahiem Lewis spearheaded the MST attack with 29 points while dishing out five assists.
Defense wins for Flyers
A late basket from junior Devin Taylor was the difference maker for Maryvale, which defeated ECIC III rival East Aurora, 39-37.
Rashad Law put up 12 points while grabbing five rebounds and passing around five assists.
It might not show on the stat sheet, but Christian Gueth played a big role in the win.
The senior team captain tied the game on a layup and then tied up a Blue Devil at the other end to give Maryvale the ball back, said coach Mark Kensy.
Salamanca raises money
Despite a 67-50 loss to Randolph, Salamanca came away feeling pretty good.
The Warriors raised $1,643 at the game for cystic fibrosis research, breaking a school record.