Wednesday's games are in trouble, but tonight's go on. It's a busy night and although the schedule doesn't present any obvious blockbuster matchups, we've found one to our liking.
We're just off Abbott and Martin Roads as Lackawanna hosts JFK in a ECIC IV game that certainly has some storylines going.
Both teams have gotten a whiff of the small school top 10, with JFK getting a couple of votes this week.
JFK beat visiting Lackawanna, 72-49, on Dec. 22. I'm pretty sure that game was one in which Lackawanna had lineup problems. Most notably, seniors Dondre Alexander and Christian Cheatom have missed games due to suspensions or other issues. But now both are back. With both in the lineup, Lackawanna has a win over Tonawanda, which is the No. 9 small school and is the only school to beat JFK in league play.
7:08 p.m. We've got two minutes counting down on the scoreboard.
It's Coaches vs. Cancer night here and they are taking donations at the door.
Check out our basketball scoreboard through the evening -- and every evening -- for updates on all the action.
7:13 p.m. We're underway. Lackawanna turnover by Alexander followed by a Sean Fox layup for JFK; 2-0 JFK.
Cheatom blocked by Brandon Kacala, which sends JFK off and running -- they miss the break but Ryan Kowal scores while being fouled. 4-0 as he goes to the line with 6:42 left. Free throw is good; JFK, 5-0.
Cheatom turnover on an over and back. JFK turnover.
7:16 p.m. Alexander is fouled and hits the jumper with 5:56 left in the first. Free throw is good; JFK, 5-3.
Three-pointer by Raytrel Finley; Finley steals and finds Cheatom with a great pass but it doesn't go down; Shane Dayley with a nice block on defense; JFK turnover. Tied at 5-5 under five minutes to go in first.
7:20 p.m. Timeout JFK after a nice spurt from Lackawanna. A turnover by JFK was followed by a push by Finley, a handoff to Alexander, who shook a defender and nailed a jumper. Finley stole the inbounds pass and scored to make it 10-5 Lackawanna with 3:45 left in the first.
Kowal down low is blocked by Daley, Alexander comes down with another shake-and-jumper from just inside three-point range. Turnover Lackawanna, turnover JFK. Alexander tries a three and misses.
7:23 p.m. Sean Fox drives, gets a foul call -- although Lackawanna coach Tim Foley (and I) didn't see much -- and the ball falls through; 12-7 with 2:28 left in the first. Free throw is missed. Can I get a "the ball don't lie?"
Cheatom strong drive misses; ball stays with Steelers. Finley's three is in-and-out; offensive over-the-back foul on 6-3 junior Admir Merhizic.
Misses by by both teams followed by a nice fast-break finish by Cheatom.
Some wild action with Lackawanna's Alexander picking a JFK player's pocket, then adding another shake-and-jumper for a 16-7 Lackawanna lead in the final minute.
7:26 p.m. Kowal to the line after another foul on Merhizic; he misses first, makes second; Lackawanna, 16-9 with just over 30 seconds left.
Foul on JFK allows Lackawanna to have the last shot. Alexander misses, out of bounds to JFK with 4.6 seconds left. Daley steals a pass but his buzzer-beater misses.
7:28 p.m. At the END OF THE FIRST QUARTER, Lackwanna leads JFK, 16-9.
7:29 p.m. JFK over the back on first possession; Lackawanna turnover.
Christian Boettcher follows a missed three; Lackawanna, 16-11.
Nice kickout pass from Daley to Alexander, who nails a three for a 19-11 lead. Man, Alexander is on.
7:31 p.m. Ken Minorczyk to the line -- nice pass set him up down low but he was fouled by Cheatom. Misses both with 6:28 left in second.
Turnover Lackawanna by Christian Smith; super-quick Finley nearly steals it back; JFK miss; JFk called for blocking foul.
Smith scores on a nice pass; Lackawanna up, 21-11. Lackawanna steal and Cheatom sprints to sky for a layup and a 23-11 lead.
7:34 p.m. JFK coach Tony Krupski calls timeout with 5:20 left in the second quarter.
Fans (and maybe some teachers?) pleased to hear the Lackawanna announce that there is no school here tomorrow.
7:36 p.m. Alexander with another killer jumper on a fadeaway at the free throw line as he falls backwards. Lackawanna, 25-11.
Cheatom to the line after some nice ball movement; 4:16 left in second. Hits first. Misses second. Lackawanna, 26-11.
Nice defense by Lackawanna leads to a turnover by JFK on a rebound. Cheatom hits a leaner in the lane; Lackawanna, 28-11, with 3:42 left in second.
7:39 p.m. Sean Fox to the line for JFK with 3:37 left after a foul in transition. Hits both; Lackawanna, 28-13.
Turnover as Cheatom steps on the baseline. Fox hits a jumper for JFK (28-15).
Alexander again with a fadeaway jumper -- while being fouled. Whoa.
Free throw is good but it is waved off on a lane violation. Lackawanna leads, 30-15, with 2:45 left in second.
7:41 p.m. Timeout, Lackawanna.
Pressure forces JFK turnover. Lackawanna miss; Cheatom offensive foul.
Was doing some iPhone-ing of a great finish for Lackawanna which you'll see later:
Cheatom with a fast-break putback; Alexander with a great dish to Christian Smith for another basket; and, following a make by JFK, Lackawanna is off and running and who else would take the last shot? Alexander speeds to the lane, jumps, hangs, shoots, ball rolls around rim, falls in, buzzer sounds.
Here's the video of the last three baskets of the half (and don't ask me why Lackawanna's gym looks yellow -- it did last year on my videos):
What a half for Alexander. I have to get the stats. Tremendous performance by the senior and the rest of the Steelers.
7:44 p.m. At HALFTIME, Lackawanna leads JFK, 36-17.
Alexander had 18 points in the first half. Whoa.
7:58 p.m. Second half is under way after some running around by me to get that point total.
JFK comes out and Brandon Kacala scores to get Bear fans fired up; soon after Alexander drives and dishes to Smith for a 38-19 lead.
Alexander runs a very pretty break, feeding Cheatom with a bounce pass in the lane (40-19).
JFK miss; Cheatom dishes to Christian Smith for a fast-break basket (42-19).
JFK miss, JFK foul with 5:40 left in third; Lackawanna turnover with 5:24 left.
8:03 p.m. JFK's Kowal scores inside; foul Lackawanna; Kacala to the line after a foul on Daley with 4:09 left in third. Hits first; misses second; Lackawanna, 42-22.
8:05 p.m. JFK miss; Cheatom skies around a defender attempting to take a charge and scores a layup for a 44-22 Lackawanna lead and Steelers coach Tim Foley calls a timeout.
8:07 p.m. Missed jumper by JFK -- there have been a lot of those tonight -- followed by Alexander losing the handle and then jumping on the ball to call a timeout with 2:39 left in the third.
Sidenote: Great job by the Steeler mascot -- I love that he (she?) actually has a hammer to go with the outfit. Also, the Steeler has been fully incorporated into the Lackawanna cheerleading team's routines, getting lifted up in the air and everything. Fun stuff.
8:09 p.m. Steelers come otut of the timeout wit the sign of a good team -- running a nice play as Alexander drives and dishes to Merhizic, who scores in the lane for a 46-22 lead for the Steelers.
Double foul with 2:06 left in third, Steeler ball. Offensive foul on Lackawanna.
JFK airball three. Alexander pull-up in lane spins out, Steelers get ball back but a curious three-second call is made. JFK miss. Cheatom scores baseline from Daley. JFK misses at the buzzer.
8:13 p.m. At the END OF THE THIRD QUARTER, Lackawanna leads JFK, 48-22.
Obviously a very impressive performance by the Steelers. Their pressure defense seems to have forced some poor shooting along with several turnovers; meanwhile, Alexander has been excellent.
8:14 p.m. Christian Boettcher scores for JFK to start this quarter as well (48-24). Daley travel on a three-point attempt. Miss three by JFK. Alexander miss baseline, followed by a JFK fast-break in which Boettcher went up for a shot and was fouled by a hustling-back Cheatom. Was a clean foul but Boettcher went down hard; seems like a hand or wrist deal but he's up on his own power.
He's replaced by Ryan Kowal at the line, who makes one (48-25) with 6:55 left.
Alexander miss, Daley miss, Cheatom over the back with 6:37 left. JFK to the line for one-and-one by Kowal: Makes first, misses second (48-26).
Alexander too quick for his own good and turns it over; JFK's Sean Fox fast breaks and is fouled. He hits first, misses second with 6:21 left (48-27).
8:19 p.m. Finley drives and dishes to Daley, who hands off to Cheatom, who is fouled on a drive with 6:06 left. First is good, second is good; Lackawanna, 50-27.
Kowal is fouled on a fast-break, gives Finley a bump after the play and it is well addressed by the official. No technical, but he gave him a talking to at the line. Kowal misses first, misses second with 5:40 left.
8:22 p.m. Lackawanna coach Foley calls timeout with 5:20 left and is frustrated with Alexander, who is doing too much dribbling. Lackawanna 50, JFK 27.
8:24 p.m. Ben Zaccagnino with a putback for JFK (50-29). Daley with a miss; Lackawanna ball.
Another Lackawanna miss and Daley is fouled out on a call Lackawanna nor I saw. Sean Fox to the line for JFK with 4:17 left; misses first, misses second, rebound out of bounds to JFK.
JFK miss; foul on Christian Smith and he has fouled out with 4:10 left. JFK is in the double bonus (more than 10 fouls on Lackawanna); JFK has committed four fouls. Zaccagnino to the line: misses first, makes second (50-30).
Alexander tripped with 4:00 left. Fox steals and lays it in for a 50-32 game. Nice dish by Alexander to Cheatom but his foot is on the baseline. Donald Schenk to the line after being fouled on a drive with 3:33 left. Misses first, misses second.
8:30 p.m. Alexander pump fakes a defender and draws an foul that's not called. JFK turnover. Lackawanna coach Foley calls a timeout with 3:00 left and the Steelers up, 50-32.
8:32 p.m. Turnover by Cheatom bringing the ball upcourt.
Alexander does a very nice job to rip the ball from Fox then go in for a layup while being fouled by Fox with 2:33 left. Free throw is good; Lackawanna, 53-32.
8:34 p.m. Alexander just got taken out of the game -- he got a little applause from the small crowd here but he deserved some more.
Merhizic scores on a fast-break for Lackawanna (55-32); under 1:30.
James Quinn layup for JFK (55-34). Turnover Lackawanna; Nick Sikora to the line with 42.7 seconds left for JFK, misses both.
8:37 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Lackawanna 55, JFK 34.
Time for interviews and stats; box score will be up at our basketball scoreboard as soon as I can type it up.
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Check out that handy dandy basketball scoreboard for a ton of results from a very busy night and many recaps to peruse.
Biggest result to me -- other than the Lackawanna game (patting myself on the back for coming here) -- is Hutch-Tech outscoring Riverside on the road. Great result for Tech as Riverside continues to struggle. ... Orchard Park takes Will North to OT on the road. ... Good to see a young Nichols team growing up with its first league win. ... Barker gave Newfane a good fight. ... Jamestown's win a pretty expected one.
taggedBasketball | JFK | Lackawanna | Video