Leading off today: West Genesee
saw most of its 12-point lead evaporate in the closing minutes but held on for a 59-57 win over Niagara Falls on Friday in the NYSPHSAA boys Class AA basketball semifinals in Binghamton.
Will Amica led the Wildcats with 15 points. Lucas Sutherland recorded a double-double with 10 points, 10 rebounds, and Jack McLane provided a spark off the bench with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
"We knew they were going to make a run," West Genesee coach Fred Kent said. "We've been hanging on for the past couple games. It hasn't been pretty but we've made enough plays to continue playing."
Niagara Falls guard Josiah Harris drilled back-to-back 3-pointers to cut West Genesee's lead to one late in the fourth quarter. On the next possession, Harris missed a 3-pointer, leading to two missed free throws by McLane.
After Niagara Falls failed to score, McLane was fouled again. He made the second free throw to close out the scoring.
"It was crazy, my heart was beating so hard," Amica said. "We knew we had size and we knew we could use it to our advantage to get the win."
West Genesee will play in Saturday's championship game against Brentwood, a 74-63 victor over Kingston as junior Bryce Harris connected for 26 points.
"During shootaround, the stroke felt good and everything felt like it was going in," Harris said. "It translated into the game, and when my team told me that I made a big difference during the game, that was incredible."
Harris, Kenny Lazo and Jordan Riley were a combined 12-for-14 from the free-throw line in the final 3:11.
Class A: Daniel Cook continued his outstanding postseason with a 38-point, 19-rebound performance, leading Pittsford Mendon to a 92-67 rout of Troy in their semifinal at Floyd L. Maines Arena.
The big effort came six days after the 6-foot-6 senior put up 32 points and 15 rebounds in the quarterfinals for the unbeaten Vikings.
Cook's three-point play moved the Vikings ahead 13-6 but Troy fought back to forge a 17-17 tie. The teams went back-and-forth to start the second quarter as Latyce Fasion of Troy and Michael Harrington (14 points) exchanged 3-pointers that made the score 27-23 in Mendon's favor. From there, the Vikings went on a 12-4 run as Harrington and Connor Krapf scored back-to-back driving layups. Cook added a 3-pointer later to give Mendon a 42-31 lead at halftime.
"They're just clicking on all cylinders, one thing I have to say with these winter seasons being so long, teams can get tired and worn down. These guys are getting more and more energy as we go along," Mendon coach Bob Nally said. "They do not want the season to end, I've never seen a team as locked in as these guys."
Mendon's opponent in the final will be Poughkeepsie, a 74-63 winner against Manhasset.
Poughkeepsie, which last won a state championship in 1995, placed six scorers in double figures. The Pioneers' were led by a game-high 21 points from Davontrey Thomas. The forward hit five 3-pointers and added 10 rebounds.
The game wasn't in hand until Jaquan Pearson's breakaway dunk with under a minute remaining. Prior to that, every time Poughkeepsie was primed to make a run and pull away, the Indians responded.
"You have to give a lot of credit to Manhasset," coach Cody Moffett said. "We knew they were a knock-down shooting team, coming into the game we reminded our guys to put a hand up and contest their shots. Good