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  • Writer's picturetgardner1167

Canisius Comes From Behind to Down McQuaid, Timon Rolls Lackawanna in Boys Hoops

It wasn’t quite a dominant showing from start to finish, but the Canisius Crusaders will certainly take it.

The Crusaders overcame a 13-point first quarter deficit to down Section V’s McQuaid 89-76 in a nonleague matinee game on Monday at Bernard J. Kenny Field House.

Out of the gates, it was all Knights, as some hot shooting allowed McQuaid to build up a 17-4 advantage with 3:20 to play in the first quarter.

Despite some early adversity, it was only a matter of time before the undefeated Crusaders (5-0) found their rhythm.

“I think we just finally got into the flow. With high school kids, the energy and the focus just isn’t there all the time, and it took eight minutes to change that around,” Canisius coach Kyle Husband said. “I thought the last three quarters, we really played the style and the toughness we need to.”

After managing to cut the deficit to just six, 34-28, at halftime, Canisius responded to McQuaid’s hot start to a half with one of their own, as a 16-4 run to begin the third quarter gave them their first lead since the game’s opening minute.

A 3-pointer from junior Joe Ciocca (20 points) extended their lead to 10 points near the end of the third stanza, but entering the fourth, the Crusaders clung to a 56-49 lead.

Then, senior Dewayne Vass took over.

Vass opened the scoring in the fourth with a pretty layup, which sparked a 10-0 Crusader run that extended their edge to 66-49, and it was smooth sailing from there.

“I started making more shots towards the end, and that was the difference,” said Vass, who had 17 of his game-high 28 points in the fourth. “This is a good win to go into the holidays with.”

Vass went 8-for-10 at the free throw line down the stretch to help seal the Crusader win and prevent any comeback attempt from the Knights, who couldn’t seem to consistently crack the Canisius defense after the first quarter.

“We had a hard time executing once they started to pressure us. We settled down and did a little better job, but we got inconsistent,” McQuaid coach Jack Leasure said. “We’ve had a bunch of losses where we could’ve won … so looking at things from the right perspective is important in keeping the guys positive.”

Kobe Long (26) and Jermaine Taggart (23) combined for 49 points to lead the Knights.

McQuaid wasn’t the only team to get out to a quick start in Western New York on Monday, as the Timon Tigers shot out to a 22-0 lead in the first quarter and cruised from there, defeating Lackawanna 89-31 in a non-league contest at Bishop Timon High School.

The story all night for the Tigers (6-3) was their tenaciousness on the defense, as it seemed like every time a Steeler possessed the ball, they were swarmed by multiple Timon defenders.

For Timon coach Jason Rowe, the defense and team as a whole is still a work in progress, however.

“We’re getting better game by game, and that was one of the things we needed to work on: starting the game aggressive. I thought the guys did a phenomenal job of that,” Rowe said. “Each win counts, and its important for us to continue to improve.”

11 Tigers managed to get on the score sheet, and they were led by sophomore Kevin Thompson who finished with 21 points.

Archie Saeed led the Steelers (0-7) with nine.

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