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  • Writer's picturetgardner1167

Niagara Falls Moves On To Face Orchard Park in Quest For 4th Straight Sectional Title

For the past three seasons, Niagara Falls has went on to be crowned the champions of Section VI Class AA at Buffalo State College.

They don’t have any plans on stopping at three straight titles either.

The No. 2 seeded Wolverines kicked off their postseason with an 84-66 quarterfinal victory over No. 7 seed Lancaster on Friday night at Niagara Falls High School.

“I thought we played really well offensively, and I thought we really executed well,” said Niagara Falls coach Sal Constantino. “I’m just glad to send our seniors off so that their last memory in this building is a positive one.”

It didn’t take long for Falls (18-3) to get into a playoff groove, as two straight 3-pointers by senior Josiah Harris powered what would turn into an 11-2 run to begin the game.

Once Harris had his time to light up the scoreboard, it was sophomore Jalen Bradberry’s turn.

Bradberry went off for 13 of his game-high 27 points in the second quarter, which helped bolster the Wolverine advantage to 15 at halftime, 51-35.

Despite trailing by double digits the entirety of the second half, Lancaster (7-14) never seemed to be out of the game.

Some quick scoring outbursts by the Legends kept things interesting, but they could not quite mount what would have been an unthinkable comeback.

“We’ve heard that all year, we just don’t give up. That’s the makeup of this team,” said Lancaster coach John Otto. “We thought the season was going to be a little better and we thought we would go a little farther than this, but the outlook looks super bright for us.”

Senior Jakob Jerebko poured in 21 points in his final game as a Legend.

With the next round of the playoffs looming on the horizon for Falls, Constantino is looking to his experienced seniors for leadership, and nobody fits that bill more than Harris, who will be making his third trip to Buff State as a Wolverine.

The loss against Lew-Port showed us what not to do when adversity hits. We let the game get to us,” said Harris. “We need to block out the big crowd. We’re used to playing on a lot of big stages so we should be good.”

Awaiting them at Buff State is a rather unfamiliar foe in No. 6 seeded Orchard Park, who pulled off the upset on the road against No. 3 Jamestown. The Wolverines haven’t done battle with the Quakers in any of their previous three sectional title runs.

The semifinal tilt is set to tip at 7:45 p.m. on Feb. 25 at the Buffalo State Sports Arena.

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