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Southwestern Edges and Finishes the Lakemen

Alex Card and the Southwestern Trojans knew they were going to be in for a fight.

The Southwestern Football team ended the last two Wilson Lakemen seasons in the playoffs with one-point wins.

Saturday, with a similar cast of characters on both sides, the Trojans finished the Lakemen’s 2019 Boys Basketball season by the same margin.

“This is the third consecutive time we played and the third time we beat them,” said Card, who was a standout wide receiver on the football team. “It’s just crazy. We knew that if we were up by whatever amount that they would come back and make it close.”

With 12.2 seconds left, Wilson point guard Steve Frerichs went down the left side of the lane for the would-be winning-score, but SW’s Mitchell Pascarella and Mayson Mathews were there to apply enough pressure to force a miss as the No. 5 Trojans held on for the 41-40 victory over the No. 4 Lakemen in the Section VI Boys Basketball Class B2 quarterfinals.

“I knew I had Cooper (Pannes) on the back side,” Matthews said of the play, “so, I jumped up and went all out on stopping the layup. Glad to know they missed it and Pannes got the board.”

Southwestern returns to Buffalo State for the second-straight year and will face the No. 1 Allegany-Limestone Gators in the semifinals. Tipoff will be on Tuesday at 8:15 p.m.

Last season, the Trojans broke a 12-year drought of reaching the semis.

“We’re back where we want to be,” Southwestern coach Aaron Emley said. “Hopefully, we can get better results this year.”

The Trojans got on a roll midway through the first quarter scoring on four-straight trips down the floor. Pascarella caught fire scoring 11 of his 13 points in the opening quarter.

Faizan Munir knocked down a shot from beyond the arc to give the Trojans an 18-8 lead at the end of the first.

The Lakemen quickly settled down in the second quarter with Frerichs and Julian Andreola getting baskets on the first two possessions. It didn’t take long for Wilson to cut the deficit to three after Jake Miller hit a pair from the line.

Miller knocked down back-to-back threes, including one at the buzzer, to bring the score to 27-26 Southwestern at the half.

The Lakemen took the lead on the first possession of the second half and the teams went back and forth from there. A very defensive third quarter was highlighted by a Dominic Certo layup which gave SW the 31-30 lead going into the final stanza.

Miller’s second three-pointer of the fourth tied the game at 36 with 5:50 left. However, Munir answered right back with a triple of his own. Card extended the lead to five on the next trip down the floor.

Miller came up with a steal and made a layup to set up the final possession.

“It’s awesome,” Pascarella said of getting back to Buffalo State. “It was a goal at the beginning of the year and to obtain that, it really feels good that all of our hard work is going into the right spots.”

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