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  • Writer's picturetgardner1167

NT Blows Past West Seneca West to Advance

The No. 2 North Tonawanda Lumberjacks journey will continue on to Buffalo State thanks to a 72-47 victory over the No. 10 West Seneca West Indians in the Section VI Class A-1 Quarterfinals at the NT Alumni-Student Activity Center. The Jacks will take on the Vikings of Grand Island in a No. 2 vs No. 3 matchup in the A-1 semifinals at Buff State on February 28th.

The scoring kicked off thanks to a Rory Farkas layup, but was swiftly answered by the Indians Devon Feaster with a put back layup of his own. As has been the story for NT all season, the dreaded 2-3 Lumberjack zone was forcing turnovers yet again. Three takeaways for the Jacks in the first two minutes sent them on an 8-0 run, extending their lead to 10-2. The zone prevented West from getting much going under the basket, and forced them to take poor shots early on. However, right when it seemed NT was just going to pull away, the Indians fought back. Better offense cut the lead to four, but a fantastic hustle play from NT’s Trevor Book gave the Jacks a 12-6 advantage. Back and forth play showed a 16-12 NT lead after quarter one.

West Seneca West cut the lead to 16-15 early in the second thanks to a Nate Ryniec three and it seemed as though the Indians had a shot at pulling off an upset for the history books. Thankfully for the Lumberjacks though, they had an answer. A 7-0 run helped bring back the NT momentum back to put them up 23-15. But just like the first when it seemed the Indians were out, they fought back and an Alex Wayland 3 cut the lead to 26-22. But the upset hopes were dashed thanks to a strong 9-2 run going into the half for NT, and the halftime advantage showed the Jacks up 35-24, a hole the Indians couldn’t dig out of this time.

The Jacks upped the defensive intensity to start the second half with a full court press, which led to another 9-2 run for NT and extended their lead to 44-26 thanks also to strong play on the offensive glass. Things got a little heated in the middle of the third. After a couple West layups that cut the lead to 14, some talking and shoving resulted in technical fouls on NT’s Zack Woodard and West’s Mike Glinski. The tech was Glinski’s fifth personal foul and resulted in his disqualification. NT cruised after the techs, as a monster block from Alex Johnson along with strong play on the offensive end ignited the gymnasium crowd and put NT up 54-35 after three.

Another little feisty exchange between Vincent Tripi of NT and Jesse Broad of WSW in the fourth resulted in techs on both, but it was the Lumberjacks who would have the last laugh, as they cruised to the finish, as West Seneca West would never gain a lead.

North Tonawanda was led by Trevor Book who had 16 points and Vincent Tripi who had 12 in the big quarterfinal win.

“We worked hard. We want to be the hardest working team out there,” said NT head coach Ryan Mountain. “We figure if we worked as hard as we could for four quarters eventually it would separate and fortunately it did. West Seneca West played a great game.”

“When we went in the locker room, coach told us how good it would feel to make it to Buff State, that was our goal all year. That’s what drove us to get here,” said Trevor Book, who led all scorers in the win.

On taking on Grand Island in the semifinals, a simple answer was given.

“We have to play our best game of the season,” said Mountain.

As for West Seneca West, Alex Wayland topped the stat sheet for the Indians with 14, and Mike Borton followed with 10.

Despite a somewhat disappointing 4-17 season, things seem to be looking up for the Indians, who defeated the No. 7 seed Williamsville East in the pre-quarterfinal round.

“We’re a very young team, we have a lot of freshman,” said WSW head coach Matt Marinaro. “Juniors contributed a lot and we’re only losing one senior, so we’re excited to see what we can bring back next year.”

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