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Defense Wins Class B Championship For Health Sciences

After Tuesday night, nobody can ever say Kameron Briggs doesn’t listen to his coach. Health Sciences coach Ty Parker tells his kids that defense wins championships – so Briggs used his defense to win a championship.

Briggs had two huge steals in the final 19 seconds to highlight a tremendous defensive performance for the Falcons, who won the overall Class B championship with a 36-34 victory over Olean on Wednesday night at Buffalo State College.

It was a defensive game,” Briggs said. “Offensively, we weren’t really scoring so we had to bite down on defense and got our steals.”

The Falcons claimed the overall Class B title for a second straight year. Health Sciences will face Greece Odyssey at 3:30 p.m. Saturday back at Buffalo State

“It’s a good feeling,” Health Sciences captain Davonte Gaines said. “We work hard and all of our hard work paid off in this game. We’re battle-tested and we came out with the win.”

The first half was a near-disaster for the Falcons, who made just two field goals and collected just 10 points. The second half was a different story as the Falcons erased that 18-10 halftime deficit with a 12-4 spurt in the third.

“Coach asked us one-by-one and asked us what was the problem,” Briggs said. “We all said turnovers and our offense. We came out after halftime and got it done. Defense won the game.”

First half, it kind of got frustrating,” Gaines said. “Second half, we got into our rhythm. We still didn’t make that many shots but more than in the first half. We got just enough offense to win the game.

Olean (21-2) entered the game on an 18-game winning streak but was stymied by Health Sciences, especially in the second half. The Huskies, who entered the game averaging more than 68 points per game, were limited to their lowest total of the year by 14 points.

Gaines put his team ahead to stay with a jumper with five minutes to play and Tayvion Nelson extended the lead with another bucket. After the teams exchanged free throws, Alex Weakfall canned a huge 3-pointer for Olean that cut the gap to one.  The lead remained at one with 19 seconds left when Briggs stole the inbounds pass. He hit a free throw and then came up even bigger with a two-point lead, pressuring the Olean ball handler and forcing another turnover. Olean had one last chance with 2.3 seconds left but a long inbounds pass sailed harmlessly out of bounds.

“First half, we were kind of soft on defense,” Gaines said. “We were letting them get layups and open looks. Second half, we had to turn the defense up and Kam Briggs came up clutch for us to seal the game.”

Nelson led Health Sciences (20-3) with nine points. Briggs, Gaines and Tysheen Lott all had eight.

Mike Schmidt had 15 for Olean.

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