Canisius Holds on to Defeat St. Joe’s
Walking into the Bernard J. Kennedy Field House at Canisius high school and seeing a sea of people in the stands previewed what turned out to be one of the best boys’ basketball games in Western New York this season.
The Crusaders walked onto their home court riding a six-game winning streak. The students, who were wearing a variety of Sabres, Bills and NBA jerseys, were getting their team pumped and excited to play.
“These guys get so pumped up for these couple of games and I totally get it,” said Canisius head coach Kyle Husband. “The student body was terrific, it was fun, it was electric and I think we played a really solid game.”
In the beginning of the first quarter, Canisius started up 10-4 with their first six points coming via two three-pointers from Joe Ciocaa. St. Joe’s responded late with the help of Justin Glover and Jaden Slaughter; they finished the quarter up 15-13.
Also important to note, Marauders senior Daesean Ashley scored two points in the first, which was enough for him to eclipse the 1,000th point mark for his career.
Crusader Dewayne Vass (11 points) got his team going in the second; his aggressiveness in the hole drew fouls to put him at the line. Nolan Phillips and Jaden Slaughter combined for 13 of the team’s 15 second-quarter point totals; Crusaders finished the half up 31-30.
Canisius got the momentum in the second half as it started with them on a 9-2 run to go up 40-32. They would extend their run after a St. Joe’s timeout, stretching their lead to 15 points. The third quarter, in which the Crusaders outscored their opponents 20-9, with Canisius up 51-39.
Max Dowling led the way with nine points while four of his teammates found ways to put points on the board. Dowling finished the game with 15 points.
The fourth quarter then commenced and it saw the Marauders mounting a comeback. With 90 seconds remaining in the game, the perimeter shooting was falling as Josh Haskell hit two treys and Glover knocked one down behind the arc to make it 57-54 Canisius.
The Crusaders found a way to hold as their defense stopped the Marauders from getting open chances to tie the game or retake the lead. In the end, it saw Canisius coming up with their 15th win of the season by a final score of 61-57.
With this game officially in the books, Canisius is now 15-1 on the season and is in first place of the Monsignor Martin League.
What was amazing to see was how deep both these teams are. The two squads each had three players with double-digit point performances. Husband said that’s one of Canisius’ strengths.
“That is definitely one of our strongest attributes, it’s not like we’re relying on one guy night in and night out to get you 25.” explained Canisius head coach Kyle Husband. “There’s a variety of guys that can hurt you and that’s when teams are dangerous.”
The Crusaders will go on the road next Tuesday (Jan 28th) to face Cardinal O’Hara.
“We’ve got to keep the right focus.” continued Husband. “We’ve got to want to continue to get better and that starts in practice. That starts with the next game and we need to keep moving forward, one step at a time.”
As for St. Joe’s, they fall to 12-4 on the season and are scheduled to take on University Prep of Rochester, New York on Monday, January 27th.