Tonawanda News — TOWN OF TONAWANDA — After sharing the regular season Niagara Frontier League title, Kenmore West and Lockport are set to meet for a third time tonight when the No. 5-seed Lions (14-3, 13-1 NFL) travel across town to battle the No. 4-seed Blue Devils (17-3, 13-1 NFL) at 7 p.m.
The two teams split their season series, separated by a total of only three points in the two games.
Ken West coach Mike Meetze told his team that only one squad from the NFL will move on to Buffalo State for the semifinals.
“You’re going to have to play hard for 30 minutes,” he said. “We won one and they won one, so it’s going to be a very evenly-matched game and it’s going to come down to execution and the little things. Very good fundamental basketball is going to win the game.”
The Blue Devils are led by seniors Alex Price and Noah Whalen, while Daniel Bronson and Colin Dougherty run the show for the Lions.
“Both teams are very athletic. I do think, overall, that we play at a little bit of a faster pace,” Meetze said. “But they can run too, but I don’t think they push the ball like we do. We try to get a lot of shots up, figuring that the more possessions we have, the more points we’ll put up. They’ll push the ball and they really rely on having good possessions.
“Size-wise, I think we play bigger than we are, and they’re just bigger,” he continued. “I think it’s going to be a question of who can do what better. Can we run a little bit better and can we out-jump them? Or are they going to be able to control the glass and control possessions more and stop us from running? I think that’s what it will come down to.”
Both teams won against the other on their home court. Meetze said everybody likes to play at home in the playoffs.
“When you’re coaching in a home game, you’re hoping that Lockport doesn’t come out with a ton of energy and use that to their advantage, and get off on the right foot right from the get-go,” Meetze said. “So the first few minutes of the first quarter are going to be very important in how we set the tempo of this game. If we make a couple of easy shots and we’re feeling good, you can get in control of the game right from the get-go.”Follow @tonanewssports and sports editor @MattParrino on Twitter for complete high school sports coverage.