Tonawanda News — NIAGARA FALLS — On Thursday night the best of the best that Western New York hoops has to offer congregated at Niagara Falls High School for the annual PAL/ACE All Star Game. The night showcased every level of talent, from the freshman/sophomore game to the junior/senior showdown.
The Niagara Frontier League was represented well, as North Tonawanda’s Ian Gilhousen, Niagara-Wheatfield’s Jack Mulcahy and Niagara Falls’ Jermaine Crumpton played in their final high school game.
But it was the underclassmen that stole the show.
The East team outlasted the West, 95-91, in a triple overtime thriller that was a back and forth affair until the final horn sounded. NT’s Nehemiah Stone (sophomore) and Kenmore West freshman Terrel Ford turned in solid performances.
At one point in the fourth quarter, Stone led the break for the West squad and found none other than Ford in transition for an easy basket. Both youngsters are set to take over their respective teams next season as seniors Gilhousen and Blue Devils’ Quinton Campbell graduate.
“I was really impressed with that first game,” said Niagara Falls coach Sal Constantino. “Kids were making big shot after big shot and they were just answering each other every time down the court. I think there is some real good talent coming up they just have to keep focused and working hard.”
This season marks the seventh year that Niagara Falls hosted the All Star game, a tradition started by former University at Buffalo head coach Reggie Witherspoon when he coached at Sweet Home in the mid-90s.
Constantino said he takes a lot of pride in both the senior/junior and sophomore/freshman games because of the way the kids compete.
“It’s one of the things we pride ourselves on is that this isn’t a McDonald’s game,” he said. “The kids are trying to compete and win. There’s some really good talent coming up.”