The Maryvale High School boys basketball team saw its undefeated division championship hopes dashed by Pioneer on Tuesday. East Aurora paid the price on Thursday.
The Flyers bounced back in style in its home gym, dominating from start to finish and posting a 68-39 over the Blue Devils in ECIC III action.
“We needed this win badly,” Maryvale junior forward Rashad Law said. “We took that tough L on Tuesday so we needed to show how we can play.”
The Flyers were undefeated in ECIC III play before Tuesday night. But the long bus ride to Yorkshire has always been favorable for the hometown Panthers and Pioneer did it again and pulled a big surprise with a 56-55 win over Maryvale.
“We were very, very disappointed,” Maryvale standout point guard Ray Blackwell said. “It was Very much a shock down at Pioneer the other night, we had to bounce back. I would’ve loved to continue playing for the undefeated (league) season but now we just have to focus on the next game.”
East Aurora was 20-4 last year but lost six seniors that combined for 19 years of varsity experience. This year has been a tough one for EA, which fell to 2-14 NS 1-8 in ECIC III on the year.
So on Thursday, the focus was more about recovering from a surprise loss to an 8-7 Pioneer team just 48 hours earlier.
“It was more about us,” Flyers coach Mark Kensy said. “We suffered a loss on Tuesday that hurt a lot. I challenged them a little bit. We want to get back a little more respect. Not that Pioneer didn’t play hard; they did. They played very, very well.”
“But coming out today, we wanted to play as hard as we can,” he added. “It’s coming close to sectional time and we want to get ready for that.”
Maryvale started the game out strong and led 17-5 after the first quarter. Law scored 10 points in that opening quarter and led 10 Maryvale scorers with 17 points in the game
“We executed our offense and moved the ball well and got the ball into the paint,” he said. “We always want to look to find the open man. I was open, they gave it to me and I appreciate that.”
Xaier Mitchell added 14 points for Maryvale(12-3 overall and 7-1 in ECIC III) while Blackwell added 12 points and 12 assists.
“Tonight we were,” Kensy said. “We shot the ball decently. WE played great half-court defense. We played well tonight.”
Noah Denz scored 14 points to lead East Aurora. Kam Kmicinski tossed in nine for the Blue Devils.
Photo Creds to Mike Pidanick
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