As it is every year, it was great to see many familiar faces as well as some cool early-season basketball matchups at the Pastor-Cooper Tournament at Daemen College.
A private school played a city school in both boys games. How about that, football people? :-)
The final game was a fun one, with St. Mary's edging East, 62-59. Domonique Jackson of East and Vince Kazmierczak of St. Mary's both drew plenty of oohs and aahs from an entertained crowd.
St. Mary's looked fantastic at the start (18-9 first quarter and 36-26 at halftime) with Kazmierczak dropping several sweet long-distance shots. Jackson displayed his all-around talents as East caused several turnovers in a game that took on the frenetic pace of a Yale Cup contest.
Sophomore guard Rashaad Rogers was impressive for the Lancers with several strong takes to the basket; some times it appeared he was on the verge of going out of control, but often times he finished off the play.
Late in the third there was a flagrant foul on a St. Mary's player for a blatant body check in open space at midcourt. The foul was totally unnecessary, correctly called, and prompted some East fans to get very fired up and leave their seats. They were just venting, and they had reason to.
But the incident prompted our first bad example of poor adult behavior at high school events of the season (congratulations!) when an adult fan on the St. Mary's side barked loudly at the East side to "SIT DOWN!" It was as unnecessary as the original foul. Thankfully, instead of anything escalating, everyone chilled out and enjoyed the game.
It was my first basketball night with the iPhone. I'll have some videos up here as soon as YouTube finishes maintaining its site. (Then again, maybe I won't - YouTube has been down for an hour now). The East-St. Mary's game had all the energy of a sectional game -- and it was still November. Great stuff. Hopefully I'll be able to throw the sights and sounds at you at some point.
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OK, at long last after youtube was down for much of the night:
St. Mary's led, 49-47, entering the fourth quarter and held a slight lead most of the way until ...
Deon Robinson finished a fast break to bring East within 56-55.
After two St. Mary's free throws made it 58-55 with 2:01 left ...
... Jackson hits a big three to tie the game at 58-58.
East took its first lead of the game at 59-58 on a Tremmell Fisher free throw after an unfortunate technical foul on St. Mary's.
From what I and fellow hoopheads in the stands gathered, the scorer's table didn't sound the horn after a missed free throw -- St. Mary's was ready to substitute, and should have been able to, but the players switched without any notification from the officials, which isn't allowed, thus the technical. I suppose the moral of the story is that you've always got to wait for the official to wave you into the game.
So, East is up one ...
... but it can't extend the lead despite a great drive-and-dish by Robinson inside the final minute.
There were some misses by St. Mary's, and a missed one-and-one by East before Joe Cellino went to the line with 8.4 seconds left.
The clutch trip gave St. Mary's a 60-59 lead. But East will have a chance to take the lead ...
... until Kazmierczak makes a big play on the inbounds pass.
East still had a shot to tie with 3.3 seconds on the clock, so it went to Domonique Jackson ...
... and you can see (and hear) what happened.
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Some more scattered videos from the iPhone experiment:
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Nichols won the first game, 79-49, over Hutch-Tech and the Vikings will have an preseason Monsignor Martin matchup with St. Mary's on Friday at 8:15 p.m.
Nichols looked as good as advertised with four returning starters plus East Aurora sophomore transfer Stan Wier. They had a 29-point first quarter (29-15), showed their season-opener rust in the second quarter (44-35 halftime), then blew it open in an 20-2 third. Maurice Miles had some nice finishes for Tech.
You knew it was basketball season when Nichols guard Ron Canestro stole a ball in the backcourt and scored a layup. Will Regan knocked down some outside shots (below) that will look good in University of Virginia orange next year -- which are what color his sneakers are.
Speaking of fashion statements, Weir has a mohawk wrapped in a headband while there is a Nike-swoosh on one side of his head. Kind of like the Pittsburgh Steelers' emblem is only on one side of their helmet.
In the girls game, Grand Island beat Nichols, 45-23.
taggedBasketball | East High | Grand Island | Hutch-Tech | Nichols | St. Mary's/Lancaster