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  • Writer's picturetgardner1167

Park Wins Round 1 Against Rival Canisius

In some ways, the Park School High School basketball team’s win over top-ranked Canisius may be viewed as a statement. But the Pioneers know championships aren’t won in mid-January and they’ll likely have to get past the Crusaders again if they want that Manhattan Cup championship.

“It feels good but you have to remember we have to play them again down the road,” Park standout Daniel Scott said after his team’s 77-69 Monsignor Martin Athletic Association win over Canisius in front of a sold-out crowd at the Rich Family Athletic Complex. “So right now, it won’t matter as much. We can beat anyone if we play like we can but we have to bring it every night.”

Park (11-4 overall, 4-1 in the MMAA) did not trail after the first quarter and beat Canisius (10-2, 2-1) for the third straight time. Four different Pioneers reached double figures in scoring.

Canisius is an excellent program so this is a great win,” Park coach Rich Jacob said. “We feel like we’re getting better at the D end, we shot it pretty well, we executed in our half court and we were able to come out with a win.”

Park blew the game open with an 18-3 run in the first quarter. The Pioneers led by as many as 18 on several occasions. The Crusaders made a very-late comeback try, closing to within four in the final seconds. But the Pioneers kept that lead in double figures until the game’s final minute.

“They have dangerous shooters,” Jacob said of Canisius. “That (comeback attempt) is exactly what we expected them to do. They did a great job trying to comeback but we were able to score at the other end.”

Scott was worth the price of admission for those that were able to pay the $4 to get in before the gym’s capacity was reached and fans were sent away. The standout junior scored a game-best 25 points and reached 1,500 for his career.

“Daniel’s really starting to pick and choose his shots, which is helping us,” Jacob said. “We had a better shot selection. We’re improving with our half-court execution and that’s part of that, better shot selection.”

Noah Hutchins added 21 points, Brandon Smith netted 13 points and Quentin Nnagbo contributed 10 points and 12 rebounds for Park.

Ryan Bradley led Canisius with 22 points, Austin James scored 16 and Jayce Johnson and Mick MacDonald contributed 12 apiece.

The loss was the first this season against a Western New York opponent for the Crusaders.

“We just have to work harder,” Canisius coach Kyle Husband said. “That starts in practice. I think we’re getting better but they’re clearly the better basketball team right now. It’s early in the season and we still have a lot of basketball to play and we’re looking forward to getting back to practice.”

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