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Gators Capture B-2 Title Saturday at Buffalo State

Buffalo, NY- Allegany-Limestone (17-7) won the Class B-2 title Saturday at Buffalo State College defeating Buffalo’s Tapestry Charter School 66-44. It was the 4th Sectional win for the Gators under head coach Glenn Anderson (previously 2008, ’19 and ’20).

Tyler Curran, the games MVP led the way for A-L picking up 22 points and 13 boards. It took most of the first quarter for each team to find their groove in the scoring department, but once they did the buckets started falling with ease.

The Thunderhawks came into this game as the Number 2 ranked team in the B-2, having played in an Independent Schools division through the winter. A schedule that included heavyweights like Health Sciences, St. Francis (MMAA), The Park School among others. Tapestry was battle tested and seemed to be the leaning favorite ahead of the finals Saturday.

But the Gators know the road to Buff State too and their schedule was no prettier, having faced Olean three times, Fredonia, Southwestern and Salamanca twice. They also travelled to Bishop-Timon to start the season. One of the oldest and toughest barns to play at in WNY. A-L was ready for whatever Tapestry was ready to throw at them.

The Gators had a good handle rebounding the ball from start to finish particularly on the offensive side of the ball.  Andrew Giardini led the way with 19 boards. The A-L defense made looks difficult for Tapestry, when a shooter would start to get hot, coach Anderson made adjustments and the team reacted accor

dingly.

“Coach preaches team defense all season,” Curran said. “That’s how we were able to settle things down early and start playing our game. Tapestry is a great team, they have a lot of guys that can shoot so we knew this would be a good test for us.”

The Gators started the game without Anthony DeCapua, a junior who is suffering from a lower leg injury. “We might have been a litle nervous at the start with having new guys have to step up and play big minutes but we settled down,” Curran said.

The Thunderhawks had there moments. Early in the first quarter senior Ricky Washington took a hard foul underneath the Gator basket, crashing hard to the floor. After a few minutes play resumed and Washington hit two from downtown to tie the game at 21-21.

Unfortunately the fouls racked up for Tapestry, Frankelvis Medina had 4 alone in the first half, and the Gators took advantage at the free throw line.

Lamar Matthews and Romeo Ball scored 17 and 12 respectfully. Ball fouled out with over 4 minutes to play in the 4th quarter with A-L leading by less then 10. Washington finished with 12 points. All three are seniors.

“Definitely not the way we wanted our season to end,” Ball said after the game. “I just played as hard as I can trying to help the team win.” Ball was unaware he was playing with 4 fouls late in the game.

“That was a really good team. We just didn’t have it today,” Matthew said. He is currently unsure about his future plans but said whatever he decides will include playing basketball.

The game was locked 12-12 after the first quarter. The Gators finished the half on a 6-2 run and cruised out to a 28-23 lead at halftime.

The 2nd half it was all Gators, despite a nice 6-0 run by Tapestry thanks to the efforts of Matthew.

Hudson Kwiatkowski scored 17 and Michael Frederick the sophomore had 7.

Tapestry was outscored in the 2nd half 38-21.  “These guys work so hard, we got great looks at the basket. We actually left a lot of points out there, missed some layups. We saw a few areas that we thought we could take advantage of and worked on them at practice. We have a deep team. We can’t replace Anthony, but if we can get more out of the guys we already have we should be in good shape.”

Kwiatkowski was named one of the “Character Athletes of the Game” along with Jayson Kelly of Tapestry. Both players were presented plaques at centercourt following the contest.

A-L is set to face Olean for the 4th time this season after the Huskies defeated Lackawanna in the Class B-1 final.

Tip-Off will be 6pm Tuesday back at Buff State.

“I have to give our guys a ton of credit today,” coach Anderson said. “They are all extremely coachable. So that makes our jobs as coaches that much easier. These boys are a joy to coach.”

Coach said after the game he had no preference who they play Wednesday, whether another rematch with Olean or if Lackawanna would have prevailed.

Images Courtesy of Shawn Turri/Special to WNYAthletics.com

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