On Right Track
JHS Clinches At Least A Share Of ECIC D1 Title, Tops Lancaster
Sean Paige and Jaydian Johnson were the perfect one-two punch Monday night.
And now the Jamestown boys basketball team heads into the final week of the regular season knowing that it has at least a share of the Erie County Interscholastic Conference Division 1 title.
“That’s one of our goals coming into the season is to win the league,” Coach Ben Drake said after the Red Raiders’ 85-55 victory over Lancaster before a large crowd at McElrath Gymnasium. “It feels good to be able to be league champions again this year. The goal right now is just to continue to get better. We just want to be playing our best basketball in a couple weeks.”
It’s hard to imagine Paige and Johnson playing any better than they did last night.
Paige poured in 23 points, dished out five assists, and added three steals and two blocks; and Johnson scored 22 points, including 6 of 10 from the arc, to go along with six rebounds and five assists.
“Sean is really playing good basketball right now, and he’s continued to get better throughout the season,” Drake said. “Jaydian played with a lot of confidence tonight. It was good to see him knock down those shots. I thought he made good decisions with the ball, they gave him some shots and he certainly took advantage of it.”
Two days after falling to Bishop Timon in the CenterCourt Classic, Jamestown (14-3, 9-0) made quick work of Lancaster (9-7, 5-4), leading 12-2 just past the midway point of the first quarter. By period’s end, the margin was 21-10 and by halftime it grew to 46-26. Unofficially, the Red Raiders shot 17 of 29 before the break and — thanks to their full-court pressure — forced 13 turnovers. For the game, Jamestown had 22 assists on 31 made baskets.
“We’re at our best when we’re getting out in transition and running and we were able to do that in the first half,” Drake said. “Our defensive pressure led to layups and open 3s at the offensive end.”
When Johnson, a sophomore, drilled a pair of treys, sandwiched around a putback by the senior Paige early in the third quarter, Jamestown’s lead grew to 54-26. Fittingly, the pair ended the period by combining to score 12 of the last 14 points to cap their fine evening.
Currently the No. 1 seed in Class AA, the Red Raiders play their next two games on the road — at Williamsville North on Thursday and at Lancaster on Saturday — before closing out the regular season with a home game Feb. 13 against Orchard Park.
“In (Class AA), there’s definitely not any easy (playoff) games, even in the quarterfinals,” Drake said. “At the same time, I think everybody knows that Niagara Falls and Health Sciences are the other two teams to beat. The way it is right now, we would not play those teams until the finals, but in the end you have to beat everyone.”
NOTES: Also scoring in double figures for the Red Raiders was junior Greg Brumagin, who finished with 10 points. Xavier Foust came off the bench to drill three shots from behind the arc in the fourth quarter to finish with 9 points. … Jack Harrington led the Legends with 15 points and Eric Frys added 10. … Before the game, senior Trey Drake was presented a commemorative basketball after surpassing the 1,000-point career mark against Bishop Timon. He’s the 11th player in school history to accomplish that feat. … In the junior varsity game, the Red Raiders held off the Legends 48-42 to raise their record to 10-7. Elijah Farmer led Jamestown with 20 points.
Harrington 7 1 15, Merz 1 2 5, Cervi 1 0 2, MBaver 3 2 9, Mahony 1 1 3, Odrobina 1 0 3, TBaver 1 0 2, Stoldt 1 0 2, Majchrowicz 2 0 4, Totals 22 6 55.
Melendez 1 0 2, Paige 8 6 23, Brumagin 3 1 10, Freeney 3 0 6, Drake 2 2 6, Knight 1 0 2, Harley 1 0 3, Kindberg 0 0 0, Rodriguez 0 0 0, Butts 1 0 2, Panebianco 0 0 0, Johnson 8 0 22, Foust 3 0 9, Totals 31 9 85.
Lancaster 10 16 14 15 — 55
Jamestown 21 25 25 14 — 85
Jayvees: Jamestown 48, Lancaster 42