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Headed To The Finals

Red & Green Hold Off Quakers 58-52 In AA1 Semis

Jamestown’s Dominic Gonzalez floats a shot over Orchard Park’s Deacon Fischer during the Section VI Class AA1 semifinals at Buffalo State College on Monday. P-J photo by Tim Frank

BUFFALO — Dominic Gonzalez didn’t have his best performance in his varsity postseason debut last week.

He made up for it on the big stage Monday night.

The 5-foot-10 sophomore poured in a game-high 18 points, including 12 in the decisive third quarter, to help top-seeded Jamestown knock off No. 4 Orchard Park 58-52 in a Section VI Class AA1 semifinal at the Buffalo State Sports Arena.

The win advances the Red & Green (18-4) into the championship game at 8:30 p.m. Saturday against the winner of No. 2 Lockport-No. 3 Niagara Wheatfield back at Buffalo State. Meanwhile, the Quakers, who beat Jamestown twice during the regular season, finished 17-5.

Not surprisingly, last night’s game was much like the first two — close. In fact, there were 10 lead changes in the first half alone and by intermission Orchard Park led 27-26.

Jamestown’s Bishop Butts blocks an Orchard Park shot during Monday’s Section VI Class AA1 semifinal at Buffalo State College. P-J photo by Tim Frank

Then Gonzalez went to work.

In the span of two minutes, he drilled two 3-pointers and converted a pair of layups. Toss in a bucket by junior Jaydian Johnson, the 12-0 run gave Jamestown a 38-29 lead with 5:01 left in the third quarter.

“Last game he wasn’t shooting really great, and we were able to survive … but he played really great today, so I was proud of him,” Red & Green coach Billy Miley said.

How good was Gonzalez?

Well, he shot 7 of 16 from the floor, including 4 of 6 from the arc, grabbed five rebounds, dished out three assists and had two steals.

“He’s just a gamer,” Miley said. “He plays his butt off and he’s ‘Steady Eddie’ all the time. You don’t know if he had zero points or 12 points at any point during the game. He shoots with confidence, he’s really worked on his game and I’m proud of him knocking them down.”

The Red & Green’s advantage grew to as many as 13 late in the third period, but Orchard Park scored the final seven points to close the gap to 47-41 heading into the final eight minutes.

Bishop Butts’ layup and free throw pushed Jamestown’s lead to 49-41 early in the fourth quarter, but the Quakers stayed within striking distance when Carter Switek drilled a 3-pointer at the 3:12 mark. Less than a minute later, Johnson picked up his fourth foul, which was followed by a free throw from Orchard Park’s John Dougherty that trimmed the lead to 52-48.

Then Gonzalez came up big again. His 3-pointer from the corner with 2:05 remaining hit nothing but net, extending the lead to 55-48.

“We have guys who can make plays,” Miley said. “I didn’t think we need to run all kinds of sets. We have to attack some of that pressure and we have to go out and make a basketball play we make every single day (in practice).”

The Quakers made it interesting down the stretch, however, as their trapping defense forced back-to-back Jamestown turnovers to pull within 55-52 following a layup by Chris McDonald with just under two minutes left. After an Orchard Park timeout, the Red & Green worked 20 seconds off the clock before Johnson lofted a nice pass to Elijah Farmer, who converted a reverse layup for a 57-52 advantage. The Quakers turned the ball over for the ninth time in the second half on their next possession and, fittingly, Gonzalez took the outlet pass and dribbled time off the clock before passing to teammate Greg Brumagin, who was fouled and hit one of two free throws with 6.8 seconds remaining.

The celebration for Miley’s crew could begin.

NOTES: Johnson finished with 15 points, five rebounds, seven assists and three steals; Butts added 10 points and four blocks; and Brumagin had 4 points, four rebounds and four steals in another tremendous floor game. … For the Quakers, McDonald scored 17 points and Fischer added 10. … The Red & Green shot 44% (23 of 52) from the floor compared to Orchard Park’s 47% (19 of 40). … The Quakers held a 23-22 rebounding advantage. … Jamestown committed eight turnovers while Orchard Park had 14. … In their two regular-season meetings, the Quakers beat the Red & Green 66-58 and 60-58. … Since the 1998-99 season, Jamestown has won 18 Erie County Interscholastic Conference Division 1 championships; and will be seeking its eighth sectional crown in that span. … Last season, the Red & Green fell to Niagara Falls in the Class AA title game.

ORCHARD PARK (52)

Sivaruban 0 0 0, Bosinski 1 0 2, Colpoys 3 2 9, Switek 1 0 3, Dougherty 2 1 5, McDonald 6 3 17, Fischer 4 2 10, Nalawadi 2 2 6. Totals 19 10 52.

JAMESTOWN (58)

Farmer 4 1 9, Gonzalez 7 0 18, Brumagin 1 2 4, Carlson 1 0 2, Butts 3 4 10, Johnson 7 0 15. Totals 23 7 58.

3-point goals–Colpoys, Switek, McDonald 2, Gonzalez 4, Johnson.

Orchard Park 12 15 14 11 — 52

Jamestown 13 13 21 11 — 58

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