All season long, the points poured in for the West Seneca West High School boys basketball team, which swept through Western New York on the greatest run in program history.
Things were different on Saturday night.
The high-scoring Indians went cold at the worst possible time and Irondequoit took advantage and returned to the state semifinals with a 67-49 win over West Seneca West in the Class AA Far West Regional at Buffalo State College’s Sports Arena.
“We hadn’t shot that bad all season long,” West Seneca West coach Des Randall said. “We had one bad shooting game this year and it wasn’t as bad as this one. That’s what we do, we make shots … they didn’t fall tonight.”
In their four Section VI playoff games, the Indians scored 100, 82, 97 and 81 points. They reached 100 points on three different occasions and 90 on four others. West Seneca West had not been held below 60 points – until Saturday night.
Irondequoit, the defending Class A champion, held West Seneca West to 29.2 percent shooting from the floor (19-for-65), including 11.5 percent from 3-point range (3-for-26).
“They do a great job of doing what they do,” Randall said as he looked towards the Irondequoit lockerroom. “They’re great at packing the paint; they’re long and athletic but I still thought the shots were there, they just didn’t fall. “They’re a team that really lines up and says, ‘This is what we do, beat us,’ and if you don’t make shots, that (loss) is the outcome.”
The Eagles (22-3) took command of the game with a 13-0 run in the first half. Irondequoit led by 18 early in the third quarter but the Indians came to life offensively and closed to within eight by the end of the third. The Eagles responded and pushed the lead up to as many as 20 before a late West rally was just for pride.
“That’s one thing I am proud of,” Randall said after his team’s season finished at 24-1. “We kept fighting, kept clawing. If we would have had one of the runs we had in the third and fourth quarter early in the game, I think it would have been a completely different ballgame.”
Juston Johnson scored 22 points – 18 in the second half – to lead West. Adrian Baugh added 11 despite missing much of the second and third quarters in foul trouble.
Quick Hits: NYSPHSAA Boys Basketball Far West Regionals
In the Class AA championship game, Niagara Falls saw its season end in the Far West Regionals for a third straight season, dropping a 65-57 decision to McQuaid.
The Knights seized command of the game late in the second quarter and built a double-digit lead early in the third. Niagara Falls battled back and closed to within three on a left-handed dunk by Syquan Ralands with 3:27 left.
But McQuaid made it free throws and pulled away for its first Regional crown since 2003.
“When we look at everything we’ve done, from the spring to the summer to the season, it stings because it’s over,” Niagara Falls coach Sal Constantino said.
It also showed what a difference three months can make. On Dec. 8, the Wolverines opened their season with a 76-60 win over McQuaid. No such luck this time – but Constantino said he didn’t think his team underestimated the Knights.
“I’d like to say no. If you look back at the game, it was a lot closer came than you thought. I’m sure it got (McQuaid’s) mojo going a little bit, got them excited but I didn’t get that from us. I just don’t think we didn’t rebound well and had trouble in the first half figuring out if they were in a zone or a man.”
Eighth-grader Willie Lightfoot led Niagara Falls with 23 points.
In Class B, Health Sciences advanced with a 52-46 win over Greece Odyssey. Davonte Gaines scored 13 points to lead the Falcons.
In Class C, Tapestry dropped a 73-64 decision to Northstar. Dorian Plummer scored 24 for the Thunder Hawks.
Buffalo East also moved on in Class D with a 72-56 win over Clyde-Savannah. Justin Allen scored 22 for the Panthers.