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Jayhawks’ Rally Comes Up Short, Fall To Lackawanna In Opener

Jamestown Community College’s Isaac Allen puts up a floater in the lane during Saturday’s NJCAA basketball game against Lackawanna College. P-J photo by Scott Kindberg

Xavier Churnac didn’t look the least bit downcast as he sat in his office following Jamestown Community College’s 88-83 season-opening loss to Lackawanna College at the Physical Education Complex on Saturday.

In fact, he seemed rather upbeat.

After nearly a year since he last coached a men’s game, it was understandable why he was just happy to be taking the court for the first time in 2021. More than that, however, Churnac saw some positive things from his basketball team in its NJCAA season opener.

“Overall, the effort level was definitely there,” he said. “There are a lot of fixable things. … These guys haven’t played in a while. Now that they’ve got their feet wet again, we can learn from our mistakes and just try to build off of that.”

Isaac Allen paced the Jayhawks with 28 points on 11 of 16 shooting; Henry Brown Jr. had 18; Jake Hougan added 13; Jafar Yahuza collected 10; and Kyle Butler had 6 points, dished out 14 assists and had just two turnovers in 31 minutes.

Jamestown Community College’s Kyle Butler drives to the basket during the Jayhawks’ 2021 season opner at the Physical Education Complex on Saturday P-J photo by Scott Kindberg

Most importantly, Churnac liked how his team didn’t bail when it found itself trailing, 64-48, with 12 minutes remaining.

“The defense got us back into it,” he said. “We got some stops and got out in transition. Just converting those and seeing the ball go through the net helped our confidence.”

In fact, the Jayhawks used a 15-4 run — 9 of them by Allen — during a three-minute stretch late to pull within, 81-79, one of three times the hosts were within two in the closing moments, but they were never able to get any closer. Meanwhile, the Falcons connected on six of seven free throws during that stretch to seal the victory.

“Every time we there, something happened,” Chunac said. “Whether it was a guy who got in foul trouble or a loose ball we didn’t get to, it hurt us on the other end.”

Sean Emfinger led five Falcons’ players in double figures with 21 points. Malik Smith had 15, Nashawn Johnson and David Pope each had 14 and Ahmir Elizy chipped in 11.

The Jayhawks return to action Wednesday when they travel to Niagara County CC for the first of their four Region 3 Division II regular-season meetings. Opening tip is at 7:30. The Thunderwolves are 1-0, having dispatched of Lackawanna College (1-2) on Sunday, 85-59.

Jamestown CC gets another shot at Lackawanna College this Saturday at 1 p.m.

“I know these guys are hungry,” Churnac said. “We have to drive four hours to do it, but let’s make it worth it.”

LACKAWANNA COLLEGE (88)

Johnson 6-10 2-5 14, Scott 2-6 0-0 4 Adderley 1-6 2-2 4, Elizy 3-5 5-5 11, Williams 0-1 0-0 0, Smith 6-10 1-2 15, Emfinger 4-7 12-14 21, Pope 6-11 0-0 14, Cassidy 1-3 0-0 2, Bannister 0-0 0-0 0, Curnow 1-3 0-0 3, Totals 30-62 22-28 88.

JAMESTOWN CC (83)

Allen 11-16 3-3 28, Okonoboh 1-9 1-2 3, Hougan 5-6 3-4 13, Kenyon 1-5 0-0 3, Ransom 0-4 0-0 0, Butler 2-7 2-2 6, Jayseus 1-1 0-0 2, Yahuza 2-10 5-6 10, Brown Jr. 7-9 2-4 18, Totals 30-67 16-21 83.

Halftime–Lackawanna College 88, Jamestown CC 83. 3-point goals–Lackawanna College 6-18 (Johnson 0-2, Scott 0-1, Adderley 0-2, Smith 2-2, Emfinger 1-1, Pope 2-6, Cassidy 0-2, Curnow 1-2), Jamestown CC 7-22 (Allen 3-4, Okonoboh 0-4, Hougan 0-0, Kenyon 1-3, Ransom 0-2, Butler 0-2, Yahuza 1-5, Brown 2-2). Rebounds — Lackawanna 43 (Johnson 6, Adderley 6, Pope 6), Jamestown CC 31 (Brown Jr. 6). Assists — Lackawanna College 15 (Adderley 5), Jamestown CC 20 (Butler 14). Total fouls — Lackawanna College 19, Jamestown CC 18. Fouled out — Lackawanna College (Curnow), Jamestown CC (Hougan, Brown Jr.).

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