Park boys basketball coach Rich Jacob called it John Orogun’s best performance since he joined the program.
The senior big man led Park to a 66-46 victory over Springdale Prep (MD) in the opening round of the USA National Prep Basketball Championship tournament in North Myrtle Beach, SC.
“Big John” Orogun finished with 23 points, 22 rebounds, and seven blocks.
It was the advantage inside that allowed Park to move out to a 31-19 halftime lead.
Controlling the offense was junior point guard Jalen Bradberry. The Niagara Falls transfer was a hero in last year’s Section VI playoffs, leading them to a Class AA title and state semifinal appearance.
Bradberry scored 18 points in the win.
“Jalen has shown improvement and become a well-rounded player as point guard,” Jacob said. “He’s improving game-by-game.”
Keonjay Carter added 13 points with 10 rebounds.
Park will play a strong and athletic team from North Carolina, Piedmont Classical’ at 7:20 p.m. on Friday.
Piedmont scored 94 points in their win over South Carolina’s Franklin Prep.
Franklinville gets its shot
Franklinville girls basketball defeated Randolph 60-53 in the Class C-2 semifinals while Holland beat Salamanca, 81-50, to set the matchup for the C-2 championship on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Jamestown Community College.
Franklinville (18-4) and Holland (20-2) have been the top two teams in the class the entire season.
Holland rolled through ECIC IV this season, only losing one league game and competitors have taken notice.
“We’re really excited, it’s a great opportunity,” Franklinville coach Allan Dunlap said. “We just wanted to be in the game to give it our shot. We’re happy we’re there and hopefully we’ll be playing next Tuesday.”
Dunlap credits Franklinville’s schedule for preparing them for moments like this.
Between seniors Dani Haskell, Abby Burrell, and Abby McCoy the Panthers have the scoring ability to keep up with the likes of Holland’s Myla Kline and Claire Pikett.
The seniors of Franklinville are reigning state champions. Older and more mature, they care more about winning than any personal stats, said Dunlap.
Still they know the team will have to run through them after combining for 54 of 60 points in the semifinals.
Clash of styles for B-1 final
Iroquois girls basketball prefers to take things slow.
The Chiefs nearly blew their fourth quarter lead in their 48-46 win over East Aurora in the B-1 semifinals. If the game went one minute more, coach Stephen Sokolski expects it wouldn’t be his team playing for the championship on Sunday at Buffalo State.
Meanwhile, Dunkirk loves leaving time on the clock. The run-and-gun style of the Marauders helped them beat top-seeded City Honors 85-74 in their semifinal matchup.
“Dunkirk likes to shoot six seconds into the shot clock, Sokolski said. “We’re still bringing it up the court.”
The slower-paced Chiefs set their offense up to go through senior Logan Streety. Without her, Iroquois doesn’t make it this far, said Sokolski.
Streety had 17 points and 14 boards against East Aurora.
Iroquois held the Blue Devils’ leading scorer Haley Potenza to five points. That same defensive effort will be needed against a Dunkirk team with some firepower.
Sherman girls basketball defeated North Collins, 51-13, in the Class D semifinals.
No. 2 seed Sherman will now play No. 1 seed Panama in the final Saturday at 4 p.m. at Jamestown CC.
Panama defeated Sherman twice, 66-53 and 50-29. Their last loss was Feb. 8 against Williamsville South.
Prep Talk AOW
Newfane wrestler Jaden Heers and Depew basketball player Kaylee Krysztof have been named the boys and girls Prep Talk Athletes of the Week, sponsored by Sgroi Financial, in voting done by visitors to BuffaloNews.com.
Heers was a Section VI champion and won the Division II 285-pound title at the NYSPHSAA championships as the fourth seed. He received 43.77% of the vote.
Krysztof, a freshman, surpassed 1,000 career points by scoring 26 in the Wildcats’ Section VI Class B-2 quarterfinal victory over Alden. She received 55.24% of the vote.
Voting is conducted on BuffaloNews.com, beginning each Monday. The voting concludes Thursdays at noon. To nominate an athlete for consideration, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.