WNY Athletics

Wolverines walk away with win, defeat Falcons

A traditional power in high school basketball, the Niagara Falls Wolverines have found themselves in a familiar position – in the Section VI Class AA title game.

That was made possible after a close 66-60 win over the Health Science Falcons (19-2) on Wednesday night at Buffalo State University, just the type of game that Wolverines (20-2) coach Carlos Bradberry foresaw going in.

“It was a dog fight,” Bradberry said. “It’s what we expected. Knowing the way Ty (Parker) coaches and Health Sciences plays, I think they’re a mirror image of us.”

After a first half in which Niagara Falls had an 11-point lead, Health Sciences – which had been riding a 19-game winning streak – began to come back. Led by freshman Amir Moye (who finished with 19 points and five rebounds), the Falcons went on a 9-0 run to pull within four.


“We struggled to keep in front of (Moye),” Bradberry said. “His penetration opened up jump shots for everybody. Today is probably the first time we struggled to contain a guard. He’s special for a freshman to do that, we struggled with how we would defend him because we just couldn’t keep him out of the lane and then we would have to help (defend him) and then he would kick out for threes.”

Then came the biggest play of the night. Senior James Robinson, who ended the game with 26 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and three steals, took a pass with less than a minute to go and went over a defender for a two-handed dunk while also drawing a foul.

“He was special tonight,” Bradberry said. “His last probably five or six games he just had a different switch. We’ve been on him about how good he can be and for him to be a little bit more selfish. Him being more selfless is just a regular guy playing basketball. He was special tonight. He was everywhere, that right there is a player of the year type of performance.”

“That was crazy,” Robinson said. “It was crazy, I didn’t even know how to react. I was just walking after that because I didn’t know how to react. It happened and I was like ‘Wow.’”

The Wolverines and Falcons continued to butt heads throughout the fourth quarter with the Falcons eventually coming back to tie the game at 60 with 75 seconds to go, but they ran out of gas as Niagara Falls eventually scored six unanswered points to win and move on. According to Bradberry, the Wolverines used some of their past experiences to not panic and keep their poise.

“I think the difference between last year and this year is we’ve learned how to win some of those tight games,” Bradberry said. “I think taking those losses to Lew-Port and taking the loss to Canisius sort of helped us to learn how to win a little bit. So in the fourth quarter when we got behind, everybody stuck together and we made plays.”

Awaiting Niagara Falls is Jamestown, a team that eliminated them in the Class AA final a year ago and Bradberry was anticipating a rematch all along.

“Since last year this is what we’ve wanted,” Bradberry said. “We wanted another date with Jamestown and I think it’s going to be a special environment because with us going to AAA next year, we won’t get this opportunity to play them again in the playoffs. So we respect them and the program Ben Drake has built, but this is a game we’re looking forward to.”

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