Tonawanda News — After winning back-to-back ECIC IV championships in 2011 and 2012, the Tonawanda Warriors failed to advance to the Section VI B-1 semifinals last season, despite the presence of Clayton Hess, who ranked among the team’s top three all-time scorers.
But the Warriors are feeling better about their postseason chances this season when they take on Alden tonight in the B-1 quarterfinals. This is due to the team’s razor-sharp focus that it has taken into every game this season, coach Hank Hughes said.
“It seems like in every game we’ve gone into, we’ve had good attention to detail,” Hughes said. “This week, they really know what’s at stake — one win and you get to Buffalo State for the semifinals. One game can be a little nerve-wracking, because it’s not like it’s a best-of-five series. They’ve seemed very focused this week during practice and hopefully that will translate into performing well on Friday.”
Hughes will lean on seniors Ben Stich and Connor Pumm to provide the Warriors with leadership throughout the playoffs.
“Both of them have experience playing in big games before, so they have a real calming effect on our team,” Hughes said “I think that they’re prepared both mentally and physically, and they know what it takes to win big games. I think they’ll have a real positive effect on our squad.”
Alden will be a tough challenge for the Warriors, according to Hughes. The Bulldogs are led by seniors Tyler Glaser and Dylan Dussault and are noted for their scoring ability and for their physical play on the floor.