Tonawanda News — The first meeting between St. Joe's and Canisius in January sold out the Koessler Athletic Center at Canisius College and the game had a college-like feel.
The Crusaders cruised to a 12-point win after the on-court battle fizzled out when Marauders staring guards Jordan Glover and Jaylen Morris collided in the second quarter. St. Joe's battled to the end, but without its starting backcourt, Adam Weir and company were just too much to handle.
St. Joe's coach Mark Simon applauded his team for hanging tough after Glover (8.8 points and 5.5 assists per game) and Morris (11.2 points and 4.4 rebounds per game) left the game.
"I think everybody that played in the second half gave everything they got," he said after the January contest. "We made enough plays to make it close. I think round two will be interesting."
Round two is today at 2 p.m. — again at Koessler — in the final game of the Monsignor Martin regular season, and St. Joe's is at full strength. Canisius remains undefeated in the league and the Marauders' only blemish in MMA play was against the Crusaders.
Simon said his team is chomping at the bit to get another shot at Canisius.
"We're very excited to play and looking forward to another full house and a chance to dethrone the defending league champions," he said. "We've played in enough big scenarios that we just view this as another game in a bigger arena. Though a game with Canisius makes it more special."
Last game, Weir, from Tonawanda. rebounded from a sub par first quarter to finish with a team-high 22 points. He surpassed the 1,000-point plateau in the win in front of family and friends.
Canisius, the consensus No. 1 large school in Western New York, has been on another level in recent weeks. The Crusaders' last three wins have been by an average of roughly 28 points.
Simon said his team will have to contain Weir to have a chance to win.
"We're going to have to slow down Adam. He's a great player," Simon said. "Their transition game is very good when it gets going. If we can't stop layups and fast breaks its going to be a long game."Contact sports editor Matt Parrino at 693-1000 ext. 4117 and find Tonawanda News sports on Twitter @tonanewssports.