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Night to remember for Salamanca’s Andy Herrick

Salamanca, NY – It was a night to remember for Salamanca big man Andy Herrick on Wednesday.

Before a capacity crowd including family and friends, Herrick, a senior battling Cystic Fibrosis, and his teammates took down Randolph 59-48 in a non-league victory on the hard court.

The win improved the Warriors record to 18-2, winning their last 12 to close out the season. Salamanca had already claimed the CCAA West I championship prior to tip-off but were looking to avenge an earlier season loss to the Cardinals.

Salamanca fell behind quickly when Owen Nelson’s jump shot swished threw for an early Randolph lead. After trailing 2-0, the Warriors went on an 8-0 run and never relinquished the lead. Although Herrick was the star of the show, Lucas Brown put in an MVP type performance, finishing with 35 points to lead all scorers.

“Lucas is in the gym for two hours a day, every day working on his shot,” Warriors head coach Adam Bennett said.

Brown actually missed his first 4 attempts from beyond the arc but never showed a lack of confidence. That’s because he was hitting from other spots, including the free throw line. He did knock down five 3’s in a row during the 2nd quarter which sparked his teammates and had the crowd buzzing.

Randolph had a rough night shooting, especially from long range which has been their bread and butter. They played hard for all four quarters. Salamanca held a 10-point lead for much of the game.

A 9-1 run in the 4th quarter got the Cards to within three but Salamanca’s free throw attempts were on point, and with no fouls to give late, the Warriors took advantage from the charity stripe.

“I thought we played very well defensively at the end when it mattered most. Our rebounding, especially late helped us,” Bennett said.

Maddox Isaac had six points for Salamanca but his biggest contributions of the night came from doing the little things right. Diving for loose balls, grabbing rebounds and taking charges helped in the victory. The sophomore guard made his presence felt.

The sharp-shooting of Brown along with the poise and leadership of Herrick are a compliment to the kind of program Bennett has been building at Salamanca, and along with Avery Brown and Isaac’s toughness, should serve this group well as they make another run at Glens Falls.

“We play a tough schedule – our league is tough, maybe the toughest in WNY. We are preparing to play in big games and getting better every day because of our efforts and working hard, Bennett said.

Bennett announced that Herrick’s No. 30 would be retired at the end of the season during pre-game festivities.

Most of the spectators in attendance, including school district officials and volunteers, were decked out in purple for “Beat Cystic Fibrosis Night,” an annual fundraising effort to help find a cure. Their efforts netted over $9,000 according to their boys basketball twitter page (@SalamancaBB).

“Andy is the most coachable kid, I’ve never heard him complain,” Bennett said. “He has to work hard, just to work hard.

Breathing treatments, pills he takes and the stuff he goes through to be with his teammates, it’s just amazing to see.”

Herrick learned ahead of the game’s festivities that the program would announce that his jersey would be retired. The senior had a brief speech ready before tip-off and thanked the many in attendance for their support not just for him but for everyone battling the disease.

“I’m very appreciative for all of the support from the community and event organizers,” Herrick said. “It’s been overwhelming.” Herrick played well at both ends of the floor and finished with nine points.

Brown made sure to leave it all out on the court for his teammate.

“He’s my biggest influence. We’ve been playing basketball together since I was in 7th grade,” Brown said. “I wanted this one for him, we all did.”

Drew Hind led Randolph with 14 points.

The Warriors next game will be Feb. 25th where they will host a playoff game against a team to be determined.

Seeding for the Sectional playoffs is this Saturday.

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