Tonawanda News —
Warriors coach Hank Hughes said the momentum swing of that play had a huge impact on the game.
"We thought it was an over and back, but that was huge and tough to swallow. That was a big momentum change there," he said.
The Warriors struggled from the field throughout the game, partly because of the stingy NT defense. Stich missed countless shots and just kept chucking all night long. The surprising return of injured senior Clayton Hess (ankle) gave Tonawanda a boost — as he finished with 12 points — but it wasn't enough.
Lumberjacks forward Alex Billie keyed the defense, and specifically did a good job against Hess and Warriors forward Connor Pumm in limiting their inside opportunities. His help defense near the basket was a difference-maker in the game.
"On one possession late in the game Alex was on the floor near halfcourt then a few seconds later he was on the floor underneath the basket," Mountain said. "He played more minutes than usual this game because Tonawanda is so big and rebounding is the key. He was huge on both ends of the floor. He did a lot of nice things."
Pumm finished with 11 points for the Warriors and Hughes was thrilled with the way he played, coming off a few disappointing performances to begin the season.
Hughes said his team's struggles came back to poor shooting.
"We just missed shots, that's all. I've never seen Clayton and Ben that cold ever in my life — at practices or at games," he said. "We just didn't hit any shots. I think we ran our offense better today, but we were just cold."
NT forward Michael Awod had eight points off the bench and provided a spark in the second quarter with six of those points. Jacks guard Nehemiah Stone had eight points, four assists, four rebounds and two steals, and played his best basketball late in the fourth quarter to help his team secure the victory.
Billie said the win was a complete team effort.
"Our goal at the beginning of the game was to shut down (Hess) and (Stich) and I think we did a good job on that," he said. "I think it was a great team win."
Contact Sports Editor Matt Parrino at 693-1000 ext. 4117 and find Tonawanda News Sports on Twitter @tonanewssports.