Olean has built a new streak in CCAA I basketball, one that Allegany-Limestone wasn't able to break this time.
The Huskies, who had their 47-game win streak in league play snapped on a trip to Allegany-Limestone last Dec. 15, beat the Gators Friday night, 55-45.
Ryan Carney had 16 points and seven rebounds for No. 4 small school Olean (9-4, 6-1), which has won six straight league games since losing, 68-55, to No. 10 Allegany-Limestone (10-3, 5-2).
Olean also got significant contributions from Joe Palumbo (14 points, five assists) and James Chatmon (14 points, five rebounds), two starters who were out of the lineup for the teams' first meeting. Palumbo was out a month with an injury while Chatmon missed five games due to a family trip overseas.
"They have a very good team and we knew going in we were shorthanded … after the game their fans stormed the floor and the players were jumping around, it was a big win for them," said coach Jeff Anastasia of Olean, which returned just one starter (Palumbo) from last year's Class B public school state championship team. "I know that [loss] was in the back of my kids' minds.
"I thought it was a battle between two good teams. I'm really proud of my guys … they did a great job defensively and locked down a couple of their kids."
The Huskies limited Matt Domboski to 13 and Marcus Aiello to just one three-pointer. Olean also kept Gators point guard Nate Keenan to seven points after he hit four threes and had 18 points in the first meeting.
"I was telling my kids at halftime … make sure we play defense the way we talked about it, the way we worked on it," said Anastasia, whose team was up, 27-24, at the break.
"And to start the third, Keenan hits a three right away, and I'm saying, "Holy geez, here we go again. What in the heck?' But then we buckled down and really played good defense. I'm really proud of way we moved our feet, our communication on defense and just doing the things we know how to do."
Olean had a 40-33 lead after three quarters. Allegany-Limestone cut it to four in the fourth, but Palumbo made a nice drive-and-dish to Chatmon before going 4 for 6 from the line in the final period.