Hello from courtside from St. Mary's bright, fine facility for the first of three days of the ADPRO Monsignor Martin-ECIC Challenge.
I'm arriving at halftime of the four-game lineup. Grand Island scored the first win of its season -- and of coach Nate Beutel's career -- with a 50-41 victory over Christian Central. Archbishop Walsh continued a very strong start to their season with a 70-53 win over Holland.
7:32 p.m. West Seneca East and Cardinal O'Hara are the third game tonight, and O'Hara has a 27-23 halftime lead. Sophomore Mark Cerza has been quite impressive in the first half. He has two three-pointers and had a three-point play off a drive near the end of the half. O'Hara was up, 17-14, after one quarter.
8:03 p.m. West Seneca East had a great third quarter to go up, 41-38, heading to the fourth. Solid defense and some transition baskets have helped the Trojans while the Hawks have looked a little lost on offense. "I know you're better than that, you know you're better than that, so let's play better," WSE coach Jason Kline told his team at the half.
8:10 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: West Seneca East 53, Cardinal O'Hara 45.
Very solid second half and a very nice comeback for the Trojans, while Cardinal O'Hara somehow lost all of the momentum it had in the first and had no continuity.
8:28 p.m. How about this thing running on time with four back-to-back games? Very impressive. Clarence and St. Mary's tipping off. Some nice energy in the building with a decent crew of students out to support the home team.
8:58 p.m. My apologies about no update at the quarter, which Clarence led, 15-13. St. Mary's had a very nice close to the second quarter to take a 32-29 halftime lead. Junior Devin Redden, who has shown some great energy on both ends, hit a three-pointer in the final seconds of the first half for the St. Mary's biggest lead of the game, equaling Clarence's largest lead (13-7 in the first quarter).
9:23 p.m. A nice back-and-forth third quarter ends with St. Mary's up, 44-39. I'm taking care of some Scholastic Spotlight stuff here at courtside so I've been getting glances of the action. St. Mary's got a fabulous fast break finish by Redden off a push from Erik Simmons for their last basket of the quarter.
9:51 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: St. Mary's 62, Clarence 59.
There was some quality drama at the end but Clarence's three-pointers missed on their last possession.