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In The Clutch

Garland’s Key Plays Late Send Jamestown Over Orchard Park

Jamestown’s Drayce Garland looks to pass during Wednesday’s Erie County Interscholastic Conference Division 1 basketball game against Orchard Park at McElrath Gymnasium. P-J photo by Scott Kindberg

The clash of state-ranked Class AA basketball teams lived up to its advanced billing Wednesday night, but Jamestown may not have remained unbeaten in Division 1 of the Erie County Interscholastic Conference if not for a couple of clutch plays down the stretch by Drayce Garland.

The senior guard hit a baseline jumper with just under two minutes remaining to extend a tenuous lead and then he forced a turnover with less than 40 seconds left to send the No. 19 Red Raiders to a 54-51 victory over No. 13 Orchard Park at McElrath Gymnasium.

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The win improved Jamestown’s record to 11-1 overall and 9-0 in the division, while the Quakers suffered their first loss and dropped to 10-1 and 7-1. The two teams square off again next Wednesday at Orchard Park.

It’s likely to be another epic battle.

Jamestown’s Drayce Garland (30) and Andre Maple (23) celebrate after Garland forced a turnover late in Wednesday’s ECIC Division 1 victory over Orchard Park. P-J photo by Scott Kindberg

Jaylen Butera led the Red Raiders with 19 points, five rebounds, three steals and a block; and Trey Drake chipped in 12 points and nine boards, but the headliner before a nice crowd was Garland, whose clutch plays late were the difference.

Leading 50-48 after a Jaral Farmer layup, Jamestown forced a turnover and made several passes before Garland found himself open from about 12-15 feet. Although not known for his scoring, he calmly drained the jumper, pushing the Red Raiders’ lead to 52-48 with 1:56 remaining. Nation Howard of Orchard Park made one of two free throws 40 seconds later, but the Quakers wouldn’t score again until a bucket at the buzzer.

Credit for that belonged to Garland, whose tenacious defense forced a jump-ball tie-up near midcourt with 37.7 seconds left. The alternate possession arrow favored the Red Raiders and Butera was ultimately fouled and he hit two free throws with 15 seconds remaining to give his team a little bit of breathing room.

Garland finished with 7 points, three rebounds, four assists and four steals; and Farmer and Andre Maple both had 8 points. Farmer also had six rebounds and two blocks.

Seth Joba, a skilled 6-foot-7 senior forward, led the Quakers with 22 points despite sitting out portions of the game with foul trouble, and Alex Crescente added 11.

Jamestown’s Trey Drake (5) puts up a shot over an Orchard Park defender. P-J photo by Scott Kindberg

Jamestown will be back in action Friday when it takes to the road to meet Elmira in a nonleague game before traveling to Orchard Park next Wednesday.

Stay tuned.

NOTES: Before the varsity game, the Jamestown High School athletic department paid a special tribute to Bob Lind, a 1946 JHS graduate and former Red Raider basketball player. An avid fan of Jamestown athletics, he attended all home basketball and football games for more than 65 years. Lind, 93, died last week and his funeral was Wednesday. … In the junior varsity game, Orchard Park defeated Jamestown, 58-43. Carson Panebianco led the Red Raiders with18 points and Max Knight had 11.

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