By Dave Ricci email@example.com
The Tonawanda News
Tonawanda News — KENMORE — Stunning.
There is no other word to describe it. Colin Dougherty (28 points) and Ryan Lawrence (27) played as if their lives were on the line as No. 5 Lockport shocked No. 4 Kenmore West 82-62 in a Section VI Class AA quarterfinal played at the Kenmore West Athletic Complex on Friday night. With the victory the Lions (15-3) advance to the Class AA semis Monday night at Buffalo State where they will face top seed Jamestown of ECIC I.
“Those guys are the types of guys that just want to put everyone on their backs. And they did that,” said Lockport coach Dave Gilson. “They’re seniors. And that’s what we talked about at halftime-coming out strong as seniors. I don’t really need to even say it. They know it and know what to do.”
Taking care off the ball was also a priority for the Lions who, when they played the Blue Devils at West in the regular season, turned the ball over six times to start the second half. That wasn’t the case this time as the Lions dictated the pace from start to finish.
Co-champs of the Niagara Frontier League, the Blue Devils and Lions ended the season with matching 13-1 league records, 14-3 overall and a split of the season series. It took a coin toss last Saturday to determine Ken West would be host team. So, on paper, this was about as close of a match up and you could hope to get.
And for the first five or six minutes it was just that.
In an extremely fast paced game, the Lions and Blue Devils were matching each other basket for basket. But the tide turned in Lockport’s favor when Lawrence hit a 3-pointer with 1:28 to play in the first to give Lockport a 23-14 lead. Dougherty (seven rebounds) hit a 3-pointer of his own in the first to extend the lead to 26-15. Before the Blue Devils knew it they were trying to claw their way out of a 33-17 hole early in the second. West senior point guard Alex Price (nine points) hit a three at the buzzer to give Ken West a lift, but the Lions still took a 45-23 lead into the half.
The Blue Devils did their best to create chances and were getting their fair share of looks. But with each failed shot the pressure mounted. That, combined with the Lions throwing a zone defense at Ken West for the first time this season, made it a long final night of the season for Ken West.
“All the credit goes to Lockport,” said Ken West coach Mike Meetze. “I don’t know many teams in Western New York that could beat them the way they played tonight.”
Lions point guard Dan Bronson dished out 10 assists, while Charlie Sobierski had 10 of his teams’ 33 rebounds.
Senior Noah Whalen led West with 13 points while sophomore Terrell Ford sank 12.
One of the fastest games in Sectional history, the contest took just 1 hour and 15 minutes of real time, including halftime.