WNY Athletics

Wheatfield, Ware Rally Past Depew

Depew High School boys basketball coach Larry Jones wants teams like Niagara Wheatfield on his schedule so his Wildcats can be tested against elite players like Davon Ware.

He got his wish – rather unfortunately, as far as Depew was concerned.

As the best player on the court all night long, Ware took over down the stretch and the Falcons rallied for a 79-72 win over the Wildcats in an entertaining non-league contest on Tuesday evening.

“Ware was senational for them down the stretch,” Jones said. “I don’t know if we play anyone as good as him the rest of the way – [Maryvale’s Rashad] Law is good, if we see Olean, [Mike] Schmidt is good – but he’s a special athlete.”

Ware led all scorers with 31 points, including a 15-foot jumper with 31.1 seconds left in the fourth quarter that put his team ahead for good. That headlined an 11-0 run by the Falcons to close the game.

“Davon, as I’ve learned through the years, I just have to trust him. I have to sit back and let him do his thing. I know he looks, to the average eye, a little out of control at times, I get it. But, this season anyway, too good outweighs the bad a lot more.”

Wheatfield’s game-ending run was the biggest of many in the back-and-forth game. The Falcons jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the game’s first four minutes but Depew rallied and took a brief 15-14 lead less than three minutes later.

Depew took a four-point lead in the second quarter but Niagara Wheatfield answered with an 11-0 run and led by eight at halftime. That lead balooned to as many as 12 in the third quarter but the Wildcats refused to go away and evenutally tied it on a jumper by PJ Burns and then took the lead on a 3-pointer by Christian Pagano.

Depew built that lead to as many as five and led by four with the ball with less than two minutes left but turned it over. Ben Solomon converted that into a three-point play and then Ware gave Wheatfield the lead for good. After another Depew turnover, Ware hit two free throws and then TJ Robinson sealed it with a bucket after another steal.

“It was just one of those games,” said Wheatfield head coach Erik O’Bryan. “I don’t know, Larry and I, I guess took the philosophy of ‘Let’s see if we can outscore the other team because there wasn’t a lot of D.'”

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