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  • Writer's picturetgardner1167

Ken West takes share of NFL title with win over Falcons

Kenmore West boy’s basketball managed to clinch a share of the Niagara Frontier League title on Wednesday, putting up an impressive 74-44 win against Niagara-Wheatfield on their home court.

Early in the first quarter, Niagara-Wheatfield came out strong, putting up an 11-7 lead. However, from there, the Blue Devils took over, going on an 18-3 run to bring the game to 25-14 just a few minutes into the second quarter. From there, they didn’t look back.

“We weren’t playing up to our potential, so [Coach Mike Meetze] kind of tore us a new one,” said Ken West guard Tyler Aquilina. “We needed to pick it up. It wouldn’t be enough when teams came into our gym for the playoffs.”

The Blue Devils were led in scoring by their 6th man, Dylan James, who put up 14 points and played well all night. Aquilina added another 13, with an early three-pointer to help set the tone offensive for the team. Tal James and Kyle LaPlante were also key contributors, scoring 9 and 10 points respectively.

The Falcons, on the other hand, struggled on offense all night. They were led by the standout Anthony Ruffino, who managed to hit three-pointers in the first quarter alone and end up with 15 points. The other main contributors for Niagara-Wheatfield were Jalen Bradley and Davon Ware, who each scored 6 points. Defense was a struggle all night for them, however, as Kenmore West hit countless open shots all night.

“There’s no chemistry, there’s no flow with what we’re doing,” said Niagara-Wheatfield coach Erik O’Bryan. “We’re extremely young, and just not up to the task to do what we need to do against them.”

Both teams look towards the Section 6 playoffs, as tonight marked the end of the regular season for both teams. Niagara-Wheatland drops to 3-11 in league play, and will be visiting Clarence in the first round of the playoffs.

“We’re gonna play at Clarence,” said O’Bryan. “I’m hoping I can grab six guys that are willing to go and fight for each other and listen and do what they’re supposed to do.”

With a win, Kenmore West ensured that they would claim a share of the NFL title, tied with Lockport and North Tonawanda.

“We got a home game, that was one of our goals coming in,” said Coach Meetze. “We’re excited to get going. 32 minutes, 0-0, it’s a game just like any other. We played through the regular season, secured the 3 seed, now it’s time to get to work.”

With the 3 seed, Kenmore West will enjoy at least some home court advantage throughout the playoffs. A sentiment echoed time and time again this year by the team was their desire to go far in the playoffs, and they seem primed to make a push.

“We have one more goal, and that’s to get to Buff State,” said Aquilina. “I think we can pursue and achieve that goal.”

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