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Vikings Comeback to Beat the Falls

It wasn’t Friday Night Lights, it was Tuesday Night Hoops, but if you closed your eyes and forgot for a moment that you were in a gym, you wouldn’t have known the difference.

In the battle of two of the top teams in the NFL, the visiting Grand Island Vikings came back from a 13 point deficit to beat the Niagara Falls Wolverines 61-53.

The Vikings were down 30-17 when Head Coach Ron Krysztof took a timeout with 2:35 left in the first half.

“He told us to calm down and that if do we what we are capable of doing we would come out we a win”, Liam Carey said.

Grand Island got a big break as they completed a very rare five-point play. Cam Sionko hit a three-pointer from the corner. In front of Sionko, guard Garrett Robinson was screening the Falls defender and got fouled. Robinson then hit both of his free throws.

“It changed the momentum and it kept us in the game”, Krysztof said.

The play helped cut the Wolverine lead to 34-26 at the half.

Forwards JB Wilkes and Mario Wright helped carry the momentum in the second half in the low-post for the Vikings.

Wright had 14 points and Wilkes had five points for Grand Island.

Cam Sionko couldn’t have have celebrated his birthday any better as he hit a three-pointer in the middle of the third quarter to give the Vikings their first lead of the game.

The sophomore is the team’s starting point guard. The position is somewhat familiar for Sionko who is also the school’s varsity starting quarterback, which according to his coach has many similarities to the point guard positon, saying “He’s used to calling plays and setting things.”

Sionko had 18 points and hit four three pointers in the win.

Carey made a big play to end the quarter as he picked off a Falls’ pass and went coast-to-coast for a lay up to give the Vikings a 46-44 lead heading into the forth.

Carey was playing in his first game of the season as he was just cleared to play after he broke his hand right before the season began. Despite wearing a cast, the junior had 13 points, a couple of blocks and even a dunk.

“It was great out there I was loving every second of it”, Carey said after the game.

For Sionko and the rest of team bringing Carey into the lineup was a smooth transition.

“I played with him in AAU in fifth and sixth grade then he moved away and came back, but we still play similar to the way we did then”, Sionko said. “He’s been practicing with us even with the broken hand so he knew all the plays and everything.”

“I picked Carey out at halftime, Syquan Ralands had eight points right at him”, Krysztof said. “I told him they’re challenging your heart, you have to step up and he did.”

Quaran Dubois hit a three pointer to bring the Wolverines within three of Grand Island, but that was as close as they would get.

With less than a minute left Sionko hit a three from the corner to put the icing on the cake that was the win.

Niagara Falls got out to a fast start as Jhamir Isom hit a long three on the game’s first procession.

After Grand Island’s first timeout, the Wolverines went on a 10-2 run in about three minutes in the second quarter.

Syquan Ralands lead the Falls with 21 points.

“I thought we play well in the first half but we didn’t finish it well, that gave Grand Island a little bit of momentum”, Niagara Falls Head Coach Sal Constantino said. “But we were 3-17 from the three-point line, we just missed shots.”

“We played a great second half”, Krysztof said. “We had really good defense and executed.”

Next up for Grand Island, they host the Lockport Lions in NFL play on Friday night at 6:30pm. The Wolverines will head to Lockport on Tuesday to take on the Lions at 6:30pm.

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