The best high school basketball doubleheader that WNY will see this December, took place last night on Day Two of the AdPro ECIC/Monsignor Martin Challenge at St. Mary’s High School in Lancaster. It ended up being a huge night for Chautauqua County, as its top two schools, Olean and Jamestown, registered big wins over the duo of top catholic schools in Buffalo, Canisius and St. Joe’s.
Below is a sequential recap of the Olean’s win versus Canisius, followed by a brief summary of Jamestown’s victory over St. Joe’s.
End of 1st Quarter: Olean 22, Canisius 5
Olean’s Sam Eckstrom and Canisius’ Adam Weir traded baskets immediately, and it looked like an intense, wild affair was about to unfold. Instead, the Huskies jumped into a 16-1 run and held the Crusaders without another field goal until freshman reserve, Howard Washington, scored with 1:28 remaining in the quarter. The immediate impressions after the first eight minutes were that Eckstrom had greatly improved upon his already superior post moves and that the Huskies’ ball movement in transition showed a chemistry that only comes with years of playing together. Also, Bathurst showed off his all-around game by swatting away shots, securing rebounds, and moving seamlessly in transition. Eckstrom scored nine points in the quarter.
End of 2nd Quarter: Olean 47, Canisius 21
Pat Scholla and Nick Scmidt each sank 3-pointers within the the first 30 seconds of the quarter and the momentum stayed on Olean’s side. The Huskies outscored Canisius 14-5 in the first three minutes of the quarter to extend to its largest lead of the game, 36-10. After Eckstrom answered a trey from Weir with a traditional three-point play, Canisius finally slowed Olean and scored five straight (all free throws), while keeping the Huskies off the scoreboard for nearly three minutes. With a 39-18 score, Olean closed out the half with an 8-3 run and ran off to the locker room before an astounded crowd. The Huskies were a perfect 9/9 from the charity stripe in the first half. Five different players scored for them in the second quarter. The Crusaders got nine points on three 3’s from Weir in the quarter.
End of the 3rd: Olean 60, Canisius 47
Less than three minutes into the half, it was obvious Canisius was going to get itself back into the game. Playing with a sense of urgency, the Crusaders outscored the Huskies 13-2 during a three-minute run that included three-point plays from Weir and Aaron White. After having its lead trimmed to 15 points at 49-34, Olean got a ‘3′ from Schmidt and went back-and-forth with Cannisius for the remainder of the quarter. Weir was a monster in the third, scoring 16 of his game-high 34 points.
Final Score: Olean 76, Canisius 73
Beginning at the 5:10 mark and trailing 68-56, White scored six straight to spark an 11-0 Crusader run that saw Canisius pull within a point, 68-67, after a trey from Matt MacDonald. Baskets from Bathurst and Eckstrom extended the Huskies’ lead back to five with one minute left on the clock. A score from Weir with 49 seconds left was answered by a free throw each from Bathurst and Evan Ryan of Olean, making it 74-69.
Washington hit from downtown with 19 seconds remaining to make it 74-72. Olean then missed a pair of charity tosses with 12 seconds left, and Canisius had possesion and a chance to tie. Instead, Weir shot a 3-pointer with six seconds still on the clock. The attempt missed and was rebounded by Scmidt, who was fouled with 4.9 seconds left. Scmidt, who shoots the technicals for the Huskies, uncharacteristically missed both. Weir secured the second miss and attempted to race up the court. In a momentary lapse in judgement, Scmidt reached to poke the ball away from Weir, and was whistled for a foul. Now, with 2.1 seconds on the clock and a 74-72 score, Weir would shoot two free throws. Schmidt placed both hands on top of his head and looked like me was going to be ill. Weir swished the first. The second rimmed out into Scmidt’s hands, who was fouled and sank both shots with 0.8 seconds. Ball game.
Bathurst finished with 25 points, Eckstrom scored 21 points, and Scmidt added 16 points. Point guard Luke Hennessy spent most of the third quarter on the bench in foul trouble and fouled out midway through the fourth quarter. All four players are juniors.
Jamestown 64, St. Joe’s 54
The Red Raiders trailed 38-35 late in the third quarter, but closed on an 11-0 run that included eight points from Tommy Campion in the last two minutes, to put them in front 46-38. The Marauders got back within two points in the fourth quarter, but Campion was again masterful, scoring 10 more points in under three minutes to lead an 11-2 run to put the game away. Campion finished with a game-high 31 points, with 21 coming in the second half.
(Chad Andrews is one of the top high school hoops bloggers in Western New York. Speaking of, Chad has a superb blog focused solely on high school hoops titled The View From CenterCourt. It’s a must-read for any fan of the sport. Check it out right here.)