JAMESTOWN - For a second straight year, Southwestern's boys basketball team (3-4) took home the title from its own Tabone Christmas Classic Tournament, pushing past Chautauqua Lake (3-4), 55-49, on Sunday night at Jamestown Community College.
The championship game was a rough and tumble fight to the very end. After starting the final quarter of the night down by a point, Southwestern put together a gutsy comeback, thanks to seven points from Patrick Mogenhan.
Mogenhan's 11 points, three assists and three rebounds earned him the tournament's Most Valuable Player award while teammate Nathan Schrope was named to the Tabone All-Tournament Team after producing seven rebounds, two steals and four points in the victory.
Photos by Jay Young
Pictured at left is Southwestern’s Riley Rybicki (10) being guarded by Chautauqua Lake’s Carter Davidson (10) during the championship game of the Southwestern Tabone Christmass Classic, on Sunday, at Jamestown Community College. Pictured at right is Dunkirk’s Michael Bess (4) being guarded by Forestville’s Ryan Forbes (23) and Jeff VanVlack (4) during the consolation game.
Ian Clute of Chautauqua Lake was also granted an all-tournament honor in a 22-point effort that included five blocks and eight boards.
"We didn't bring our A-game tonight," noted Thunderbirds' coach Mike Putney. "I think we were a little tired after the overtime game (Saturday) night, but that's not an excuse."
The Thunderbirds' Kyle Mayer earned the tournament's defensive player award in the loss, and got his team started out on the right foot.
"You know Chautauqua Lake is a very physical team," Southwestern coach Andrew Krenzer said. "I was very concerned about that. We have some young guys and they handled things well tonight."
The Trojans faced adversity early as Chautauqua Lake opened up an 8-2 advantage thanks to a pair of steals from Mayer. Carter Davidson was the beneficiary of Mayer's takeaways, hitting an early trey and a fast-break layup.
Jack Carlson stepped up early on defensively to help Southwestern out of the hole, recording consecutive rebounds midway through the opening period and finished with nine boards on the night.
Ben Burk nailed a short jumper from the wing to shrink the Thunderbirds early lead to 14-10 after one quarter of play.
The Trojans did a good job of carrying their momentum into the second period.
The game was tied after Carlson grabbed another big rebound and pulled off a dynamic spin move in the post for an easy deuce.
After losing their lead, the Thunderbirds suffered from a momentary lapse in concentration as Brendan Kennedy found himself all alone on a long pass from the backcourt and converted on an uncontested layup.
"We didn't box out well and gave up a lot of second-chance points," noted Putney. "We just need to work harder and play better."
It looked like the Trojans would carry a six-point lead into halftime after David Applegarth made a basket in the post for Chautauqua Lake with five seconds remaining, but Burk had other ideas.
With no time remaining Burk heaved a running jumper from near half-court that fell in off the glass to give Southwestern a 27-20 lead.
After an unlikely basket to end the half, Clute got to work in the third quarter.
The 6-foot-4 senior powered his way to a pair of easy baskets early on and continued to impose his will into the final period.
"I never consider Ian a big man. It's funny, he plays more like a guard," Putney said. "But he is phenomenal anywhere we put him."
Clute put up nine of the Thunderbirds' 13 points in the fourth quarter on a variety of talented inside moves, but the Trojans had too many options on offense.
Kyle Moran chipped in a basket with four minutes to play in the game, and a late steal by Mike Sandbloom sealed the deal for Southwestern.
"One of the biggest things we have been talking about is confidence," Krenzer said after the win. "If you feel like good things are going to happen, then they will. That is the attitude that we have been taking."
In the consolation final, the Dunkirk Marauders were able to pick up their first win of the season, 51-44, over Forestville (0-6).
Michael Bess led the way for the Marauders with 21 points while Isiah Thomas added 14 points for Dunkirk, which jumped out to a 13-2 lead after the first quarter.
The Hornets got back into the game in the second when they outscored the Marauders, 15-6, sending the game into the break with Dunkirk up, 19-17.
In the third quarter, the Marauders were able to take control of the game as they outscored the Hornets, 20-8, to take a 39-25 lead into the final quarter.
The final eight minutes were close, with the Hornets keeping pace with the Marauders, but in the end, Dunkirk proved too much.
Jake Nosbisch had a team-high 16 points for Forestville while adding five steals in the loss. Also for the Hornets, Wayne Hartloff had 11 points and 10 rebounds while Caleb Makuch chipped in nine rebounds and three blocks.
On Saturday, Chautauqua Lake snuck by Dunkirk, 71-66, in overtime to set up its game Sunday with host Southwestern.
"It was a very exciting game," Putney said. "We had some key players step up."
A.J. Hulton had a game-high 19 points, including 8 of 8 from the charity stripe, to help lead the Thunderbirds to the win while Mayer chipped in 17 points and five rebounds.
"Hulton had a fantastic game," Putney said. "He played basically the end of the third, all of the fourth and overtime with four fouls and didn't foul out. Mayer too.
"(Hulton) made some huge shots," Putney continued. "He went 8 for 8 at the line and he had four huge free throws in overtime to basically seal (the win)."
The two teams played to a 14-all tie in the first quarter, before Chautauqua Lake was able to build a slim, 28-26 lead at halftime. The Marauders, who were led by Bess' team-high 17 points, outscored the Thunderbirds, 16-7 in the third quarter to take a 42-35 lead into the fourth quarter.
"Dunkirk has had a couple of guys come back from suspensions," Putney noted. "I think they'll be a decent team down the road. It was a fun game."
Over the next eight minutes, Chautauqua Lake was able to close the gap, eventually tying the game and sending it into overtime, where they outscored Dunkirk, 17-12 to pick up the win.
"Our team is really, really gelling," Putney said. "And we're getting a lot of production out of everybody."
Manny Maisonett had 15 points in the loss while Thomas and Esmond Colvin chipped in 10 points each.