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Trojans Fall Apart Late

Gators Win Fourth Quarter, 20-2

Southwestern’s Calvin Ricker looks to pass while being defended by Allegany-Limestone’s Casey Curran during the second half Tuesday. P-J photo by Matt Spielman

Gus Napoleon scored 29 points in the first game of the season Dec. 3.

Since then, he has been fairly quiet, averaging just 6.1 points per game over Allegany-Limestone’s next nine contests.

On Tuesday night, the Gators’ senior guard made some noise.

Napoleon scored 20 points, including six 3-pointers, and Allegany-Limestone dominated Southwestern in the fourth quarter en route to a 51-30 Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association Division 1 West victory.

“Gus was huge. He’s been our best shooter for three years,” Allegany-Limestone head coach Glenn Anderson said. ” … He’s a little bit bigger, a little bit stronger and now he can defend a little bit better. … He’s capable of getting hot if guys get him open looks.”

Southwestern’s Nate Johnson dribbles on the baseline past an Allegany-Limestone defender during Tuesday’s CCAA Division 1 West boys basketball game at Southwestern. P-J photo by Matt Spielman

The win improved the Gators — the New York State Sportswriters Association’s No. 20 Class B team — to 9-2 overall, including 4-0 in the league. Allegany-Limestone is coming off a 47-43 victory over longtime rival Olean last Friday.

“They call this a trap game. We were coming off a big rivalry win over somebody we haven’t beaten in a long time,” Anderson said. “(Southwestern) is a lot better than 3-8. … That was pretty much what I was expecting coming in.”

Ben Giardini was the only other player in double figures for the Gators with 11 points.

Calvin Ricker led the Trojans (3-9, 2-2) with 12 points, but the team scored just 10 points in the second half, and Jon Pearson’s two free throws were their only points of the final eight minutes.

“We just didn’t do the things down the stretch that I thought we were doing well for three quarters of the game, and then for whatever reason lost our heads,” Southwestern head coach Aaron Emley said. “We just lost focus on what was working for us: being patient, sharing the basketball and we tried to force it, hold it and not move it. That’s the result.”

Allegany-Limestone led 24-20 at halftime, but a strong start to the third quarter gave Southwestern the lead. Ricker and Aidan Kennedy scored on the Trojans’ first two trips of the period and later Ricker scored on back-to-back possessions to give the hosts a 28-24 lead.

Ben Giardini’s bucket with 1:32 to go in the quarter eventually tied the game at 28-all before Napoleon hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the lead back to the Gators.

“That was huge,” Anderson said of the late 3-pointer. “That was probably the turning point for us, getting us going into that fourth quarter.”

Napoleon then opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer just in front of a disapproving Southwestern student section and after Pearson made two free throws, Giardini converted a three-point play on a putback to give Allegany-Limestone a 37-30 lead.

“He hit that one, turned around and looked at the crowd and I thought ‘Here goes Gus,'” Anderson said. “He’s that type of kid. He feeds off that type of energy.”

After a Trojans’ miss, Giardini scored on a transition layup, which led to a Southwestern timeout.

“I was trying to rotate back and forth between a man and a 2-3. I think we got caught a couple of times in zone, and (Napoleon’s) open,” Emley said. “He’s a good shooter. … Some of those shots start going and we stop identifying who’s a shooter and who’s a driver.”

That did nothing to slow the Gators who ended up scoring the final 17 points of the game to win going away.

“We knew it was going to turn up in the fourth quarter,” Emley said. “We’ve watched them on film and that’s when their pressure defense really turns up … everybody’s does down the stretch when it’s a close game. We just didn’t handle it well.”

NOTES: Ricker grabbed eight rebounds and three steals while Pearson had six rebounds for Southwestern. … Jayden Gustafson grabbed seven rebounds, Tyler Curran had four assists and Giardini had three steals for Allegany-Limestone. … The Trojans shot 12 of 45 (26.7%) from the field, including 2 of 17 (11.8%) from 3-point range, and turned the ball over 12 times. … The Gators shot 19 of 49 (38.8%) from the field, including 7 of 16 (43.8%) from 3-point range, and turned the ball over 11 times.

ALLEGANY-LIMESTONE (51)

Giardini 5 1 11, TCurran 1 0 2, Davis 0 0 0, DeLong 0 0 0, Yorke 0 0 0, Napoleon 6 2 20, Gustafson 1 1 3, MacWilliams 0 0 0, Kwiatkowski 0 0 0, Carlson 1 2 4, CCurran 3 0 7, Wolfgang 2 0 4. Totals 19 6 51.

SOUTHWESTERN (30)

Ricker 5 2 12, Kennedy 2 0 4, Munir 0 0 0, Froah 0 0 0, Johnson 3 0 8, Fye 0 0 0, Pannes 1 0 2, Bailey 0 0 0, Pearson 1 2 4, Pascarella 0 0 0. Totals 12 4 30.

3-point goals–Napoleon 6, CCurran, Johnson 2.

Allegany-Limestone 17 7 7 20 — 51

Southwestern 10 10 8 2 — 30

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