WNY Athletics

Still Undefeated West Seneca West Headed to Far West Regionals

The dream season continues for the West Seneca West High School boys basketball team.

Juston Johnson scored a career-high 43 points, including the winning free throws with 42.4 seconds left and the Indians held off a game South Park team to claim the overall Class A Section VI championship at Buffalo State College’s Sports Arena.

“It feels good to do it for the second season in a row,” Johnson said, referring to the football team’s championship run in the fall. “I’m happy to do it for the guys. It’s the same atmosphere as during football at school. Everyone’s really excited.”

West improved to 24-0 and will play in the Far West Regional at 7 p.m. Friday at Buffalo State against the winner of today’s Section V championship game between Irondequoit and Wayne.

And for the second straight game, it was a two-point nail-biter for West, which was on the heels of Saturday’s epic 97-95 win over Williamsville South in a game that needed four overtimes to decide.

“At this point, these types of games are to be expected,” West coach Des Randall said. “Everyone’s good, everyone’s here for a reason. We fouight hard and gave it all we had. They played hard, they fought, they competed, no matter how far they got down.”

Saturday’s game was expected to be a thriller all along but many thought the Indians would have a much easier time with the Sparks, especially when West Seneca West opened up an 18-point second quarter lead. But ¬†game that looked like it was going to be a blowout in the first half was tied with under a minute left in regulation before the Indians closed the deal.

“That’s a good team, they’re undefeated for a reason, but I thought our boys played really hard,” South Park Peter Hudecki said. “I don’t think anyone in the gym had us keeping it that close.”

The Indians led by as many as 18 in the first half but the Sparks battled all the way back and tied the game on a basket by David Stroud with 51 seconds to play.

West elected not to call a timeout and instead got the ball into Johnson’s hands. He drove to the basketball and drew a foul – something he does as well as anyone in Western New York.

“I just got the ball, just looking to attack,” he said. “Just do what I do best. I drew the foul and made the free throws.”

In the first half, Johnson could do no wrong. He buried six 3-pointers and went 12-for-12 from the free throw line, collecting 30 points

The basket just looked like an ocean to me,” he said. “I just kept throwing it up there and it kept going in.”

Adrian Baugh added 19 points for the Indians, including back-to-back 3-pointers in the third quarter after South Park had cut the Indians 10-point halftime lead down to one.

Anthony Mack led South Park (13-10) with 24 points while Ray Mushat had 21 and Stroud 15.

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