Tonawanda News —
TOWN OF TONAWANDA — The North Tonawanda boys basketball team seemed on the verge of handing Kenmore West its first Niagara Frontier loss of the season Tuesday night.
But in the final moments, after Kenmore West tied the game on a Adam Fron layup with five seconds remaining, Ken West senior Noah Whalen stole the NT inbounds pass out of the hands of Jacks guard Joe Piotrowski and exploded to the basket for the game-winning bucket. The Lumberjacks weren't able to get a shot off and the Blue Devils completed the comeback, winning 43-40 in dramatic fashion.
"We drew up a play for Adam From and we just wanted to tie the game up and get the game to overtime. Adam got the bucket and NT was trying to come down to get a basket and try and win the game," Whalen said. "Piotrowski had the ball, and as he turned his head to go I just poked my hand in there and I just thought, 'We need to win this game. Go score the basket.' It was a natural instinct."
Whalen, who scored a team-high 12 points, was also fouled on the basket but missed the free throw. Ken West's Trent White grabbed the rebound and made 1 of 2 from the line to put the Blue Devils up three with 1.1 seconds remaining. NT took a timeout but couldn't get a shot off as time expired.
The Blue Devils (10-2, 9-0 NFL) struggled to score. NT (8-4, 6-3 NFL) held Ken West to 32 percent from the field for the game, and the Blue Devils went scoreless for a near 12-minute stretch between the second and third quarters.
Ken West coach Mike Meetze used every play in his book during the game to try and score the basketball, but there just seemed to be a lid on the basket for the his Blue Devils.