By JEREMY IZZIO
OBSERVER Sports Reporter
SILVER CREEK - The No. 4 seed Silver Creek Black Knights survived a scare Friday night and will live to fight another day after a hard-fought 64-60 victory over the No. 5 seed Tapestry Charter Thunder Hawks in the quarterfinal round of the Section 6 Class C-1 boys basketball playoffs.
OBSERVER?Photos by Justin?Goetz
At left, Silver Creek’s Trevon Thompson, left, shoots over a Tapestry Charter defender during Friday’s Section 6 Class C-1 boys high school basketball quarterfinal game. At right, Silver Creek’s Jacob Lewis (24) goes up for a shot.
"I'm proud of our guys. It's been a year of a lot of adversity," Silver Creek coach Rob Genco said. "Their whole lives, these kids have faced adversity. They've been telling me all week that it's the playoffs and that they'd get it done. (Friday) they did."
Tapestry Charter held a 49-45 lead with less than six minutes to go before Silver Creek's Billy Brooks scored on two straight possessions to even the score at 49-all.
On Tapestry's next trip down the floor, Chemar Pilot got the ball in the post and went up strong for a traditional three-point play. The foul was called on Brooks, giving him five for the game and forcing him to the bench after fouling out.
Getting the big man to foul out was part of the game plan and significantly swung the tide in its favor.
"We don't have any real big guys, but our plan was to go at the basket, attack and get fouled," Tapestry Charter coach Darren Kresge said. "Silver Creek doesn't have the longest bench, so we wanted to get them in foul trouble and get the big guy off the floor."
"That's when you just close your eyes and pray," Genco joked about Brooks fouling out with five minutes to play. "I thought that a couple of those fouls probably didn't need to be called, but it is what it is. I knew that in this type of game, with the way they attack the rim, that he was going to be in foul trouble. I just didn't know it was going to be that early."
With Brooks on the bench, Silver Creek had to rely on the 3-ball and the shots began to drop from the outside.
Over the next three and a half minutes, the Black Knights hit three 3-pointers. Brennan White, Andrew John and Kaine Kettle each hit shots from beyond the arc to give Silver Creek a 62-57 lead with a minute left to play in the game.
"When Billy goes out, you better knock down shots or you're not going to win the game," Genco said. "I think Kaine, Brennan and Trevon (Thompson) are some of the best shooters in the league and they just haven't had a night where they all shoot well. (Friday) they did."
Thirty seconds later, the Thunder Hawk's Poshine Jenifer put back an offensive rebound after Jordan Maxey missed the front end of a one-and-one to bring the score to 63-59.
Tapestry Charter managed to regain possession after the ensuing inbound and was fouled during the scramble to give the Thunder Hawks another shot at a one-and-one situation.
JaQuoine Fogan hit the front end, but missed the back end and another scramble for the ball broke out. The Thunder Hawks managed to once again regain possession before calling timeout with 15 seconds remaining on the clock.
Tapestry Charter then cleanly inbounded the ball, missed the shot and was called for traveling on the play. They had no choice left but to foul on Silver Creek's ensuing inbound.
With just over five seconds left, White hit the first free throw to give Silver Creek a 64-60 lead and essentially seal the victory.
White missed the second shot before the Thunder Hawks launched a fruitless three-quarter court shot as time expired.
"They played 100 percent, that's all I can ask," Kresge said. "I could see in the locker room after that there was a lot of emotion. We are a young team and we need to grow. We've had a lot of growing pains, but for tonight, to come into Silver Creek against the defending Sectional champions, we had to be almost perfect."
Clutch free-throw shooting proved to be the difference for the Black Knights. Silver Creek finished the game 10 for 14 from the line compared to Tapestry Charter's 6 for 16.
"We talked about going to the line and putting them on the line," Genco said. "Sometimes it's not a bad option to foul when they go up. We intentionally were fouling hard and keeping track of who had what as far as fouls."
Brooks was able to score 14 points, pull down 15 rebounds and block four shots despite watching from the bench down the stretch.
Kettle scored a team-high 18 points, including three 3-pointers.
Jayvee call up Thompson added 10 points while White contributed 14 points in the win.
Fogan, a sophomore, finished with a game-high 25 points for Tapestry Charter and was arguably the best player on the floor the entire game. His outside shooting, combined with a relentless attack on the rim, led the Thunder Hawk's attack and was a major factor in Brooks fouling out.
Pilot had nine points, eight rebounds and three assists in the loss while DeJuan Owens had 11 points, five rebounds and four steals.
The Knights now take on No. 1 Barker on Monday at Jamestown Community College at 6 p.m.
Middle College 81, Cassadaga Valley 44
BUFFALO - Seventh-seeded Cassadaga Valley fell behind early and was unable to make any headway from that point on as the Cougars ended their season at 11-8, falling to No. 2 Middle Early College, 81-44, in Section 6 Class C-1 boys basketball quarterfinals action on Friday.
The Kats (14-5) jumped out to a 21-13 lead after the first quarter and took a 35-21 lead into the half.
T.J. Scott netted 26 points and had 14 rebounds and 10 steals to post a triple-double, Kevin Briggs added 24 points, which gave him 1,000 for his career, and Joseph Staton had 12 points for the winners.
For the Cougars, Mike Lancaster scored 18 points and Cody Johnson hit the double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds
Middle Early College advances to play Holland at Jamestown Community College on Monday at 7:45 p.m. in the semifinals.