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Lew-Port Drops Amherst For First Sectional Championship Since 1978

As Roddy Gayle and his Lewiston-Porter teammates waited their turn to play in the Section VI semifinals, they couldn’t help but hear the chants from the Amherst student section:

“We want Lew-Port!”

Unfortunately for the Tigers, they got their wish – and the Lancers got their first sectional championship in 41 years.

In a matchup many high school basketball fans have been waiting all year to see, the second-seeded Lancers used a stifling defensive performance in a 51-40 win over top-seed Amherst in the Class A-2 sectional championship game on Saturday evening at Buffalo State College’s Sports Arena.

“They wanted Lew-Port and they got us,” Gayle said after scoring 20 points. “That definitely motivated us. That made us play this game with a chip on our shoulder.”

It’s the third time the teams have met at Buffalo State – and the first one that went the Lancers way. The championship for Lew-Port was the program’s first since 1978.

“It’s huge,” said Lew-Port coach Matt Bradshaw, who was a ball boy on that 1978 team. “The community support we get is huge and it’s just been awesome. It’s a special time.”

Lew-Port (20-2) will play West Seneca West (13-11) at 8:15 p.m. Tuesday for the overall Class A championship. The Indians took control in the second half and posted a 74-59 win over Williamsville East in the Class A-1 title game.

And after breaking a 30-year Niagara Frontier League title drought and a 40-year sectional drought already this season, the Lancers are looking to continue to make more history.

“It’s great to be a part of this and to make an impact on the program,” said Lancers senior Trent Scott, who scored a game-high 21 points. “We did it.”

They did it with defense. The 40 points scored by Amherst was the second-lowest output of the season, topping only the 37 points scored in a December tournament game in Pennsylvania.

Amherst star Jaylen Stewart was limited to just six points.

“How many did Stewie have?” Bradshaw said. “That was the game. Roddy shut Stewie down. People should talk more about Roddy’s defense than his offense today.”

James Moore led Amherst (19-4) with nine points.

In Saturday’s nightcap, West Seneca West repeated atop Class A-1 but certainly took a different route. After rolling undefeated into last year’s title game, the Indians then survived an epic four-overtime game and beat Williamsville South, 97-95. With another postseason overtime win over the Billies already out of the way, West Seneca West capped a roller-coaster season on the winning end.

“I was thinking about that yesterday and this morning,” WSW coach Des Randall said, “how sweet it would be to win this one in spite of all we’ve been through. If there’s one thing this team has it’s character and an unbelievable ability to persevere.”

The Indians started the season 0-4 as they dealt with the much-publicized battle over the eligibility of Juston Johnson. With last year’s MVP now playing prep ball in Tennessee, his former teammates have overcome injuries and personal losses – including the deaths of two team grandfathers – and are peaking at the right time.

Saturday’s obstacle came early in the second quarter when star Adrian Baugh was whistled for a technical foul – his third – forcing him to the bench for the final seven minutes of the first half. No worries, Maurice Robertson picked up the slack – scoring eight points in the second period – to keep the Indians afloat.

“One of by best players is on the bench so I had to do what I had to do to put us in the best position to get this win,” said Robertson, who finished with 20 points.

With Baugh back, fourth-seeded West Seneca West quickly seized command again with a 12-2 run to start the third. An early timeout called by the Flames just fueled the fire for West.

“That’s just means it’s time to kill,” said Baugh, who led everybody with 21 points. “It’s time to step on their throats and put them away.”

Cal Schifflet led sixth-seeded Williamsville East (11-13) with 15 points. Kevin Early had 12 for the Flames.

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