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Missed Opportunity

Jamestown Fails To Lock Up Outright League Title

Jamestown’s Dominic Gonzalez defends Orchard Park’s Cullen Colpoys during Monday’s ECIC Division 1 boys basketball game at McElrath Gymnasium in Jamestown. P-J photo by Scott Kindberg

After every game, Chris Frankowski hands out a commemorative basketball to Orchard Park’s player of the game.

The Quakers’ head coach found himself with a bit of a dilemma Monday night.

In a good way.

Two of his seniors were deemed worthy.

Chris McDonald scored 18 points, including clutch free throws down the stretch, and grabbed 13 rebounds, and Deacon Fischer added 17 points, including 10 in the decisive fourth quarter, to go along with 10 boards to send Orchard Park to a 60-58 come-from-behind victory over Jamestown in an Erie County Interscholastic Conference Division 1 showdown before a large crowd at McElrath Gymnasium.

Jamestown’s Greg Brumagin drives the ball to the basket during Monday’s ECIC Division 1 boys basketball game against Orchard Park at McElrath Gymnasium in Jamestown. P-J photo by Scott Kindberg

The win — the Quakers’ second in the span of 72 hours over the Red & Green — gave them the leg up for the division title with one league game remaining, which is tonight at Williamsville North.

“It’s been a heck of a ride,” Frankowski said. “We had so many rescheduled (games) because of the weather. We lost four games because of that, three of them being league games. With it having to be done by a certain time frame, we kind of got stuck in some back-to-back situations and quick turnarounds, which is never what you sign up for.”

And yet?

If Orchard Park (15-2, 7-2) wins on the road later today, it would clinch the division title because of its two victories over the Red & Green (16-4, 8-2).

Should the Quakers lose, however, it would give Jamestown the division crown. In either case, the Red & Green will still be the No. 1 seed in the Section VI Class AA playoffs, which begin next week.

“To come down here, it’s one of the best areas in Western New York to play,” Frankowski said. “The environment is awesome. It’s what we sign up to do. It teaches you to prepare for Buffalo State (the site of the Final Four) against a great team who every year is awesome. They’re always perpetually successful and we strive to be like them.”

This game certainly was good preparation for the postseason for both teams as it featured intensity from start to finish.

While McDonald, Fischer and Zach Nawaldi (10 points) sparked the Quakers, Jamestown was paced by senior Jaydian Johnson with a game-high 23 points and sophomore Dominic Gonzalez with 17. Jamestown, in fact, led by as many as seven points late in the first half — with possession — but a missed dunk led to Orchard Park finishing on a 7-2 run before the break, capped by McDonald’s three free throws with seventh-10ths of a second remaining when he was fouled on a 3-point attempt. Instead of a potential double-figure lead at the break, the Red & Green’s lead was only 28-26.

“We missed a lot of shots inside that we normally finish, and in a game like this you can’t do that,” Jamestown coach Billy Miley said.

The Red & Green built another lead in the third quarter, sparked by Gonzalez, and they took a 43-36 advantage into the final period.

That’s when McDonald and Fischer led the Quakers home.

A 10-2 Orchard Park run to start the fourth quarter gave the Erie County school its first lead 46-45 on a Fischer layup at the 5:05 mark. From there, there were six lead changes and two ties. The Quakers went ahead for good, 57-55, on a bucket by John Dougherty with about a minute remaining.

Jamestown’s Bishop Butts made one of two free throws with 30 seconds left to pull the Red & Green within a point 57-56, but that was as close as they would get. McDonald connected on three of four free throws, the last with eight seconds left, to push Orchard Park’s lead to 60-56.

“Chris McDonald is a jack of all trades,” Frankowski said. “He’s super talented and he’s going to play college basketball. … We’re not the same team without him.”

Elijah Farmer scored on a layup with 1.7 seconds remaining to pull Jamestown to within 60-58. A Quaker violation on a free-throw attempt gave the Red & Green one last chance following a timeout with four-10ths of second remaining, but Johnson’s desperation 3-point heave from beyond half-court was off the mark.

“The goals coming in are always to get the top seed and win the league,” Miley said. “We were able to get one of them and, obviously, no one wants to go into the playoffs losing a couple games in a row, but we have some time to figure things out, keep working to get better and have a better effort next time.”

Frankowski, meanwhile, has only one thing in mind.

“The pressure is on us to get right back on the horse (today) and try and get ready to play,” he said. ” … We didn’t clinch anything today.”

NOTES: Farmer led Jamestown with 12 rebounds and five steals, but the Red & Green shot just 24 of 65 from the field, including only 3 of 16 from the arc. … The Quakers were 21 of 56 from the field and 7 of 19 from distance. … The visitors held a 34-27 rebounding advantage, but Jamestown had fewer turnovers (11 to Orchard Park’s 17). … In the junior varsity game, the Red & Green prevailed 70-60. Hunter Johnson led the way for Jamestown with 20 points.

ORCHARD PARK (60)

Sivaruban 0 0 0, Bosinski 1 0 3, Colpoys 3 0 8, Switek 0 0 0, Dougherty 1 2 4, McDonald 4 8 18, Fischer 8 1 17, Nalawadi 4 0 10, Monaco 0 0 0. Totals 21 11 60.

JAMESTOWN (58)

Farmer 3 0 6, Gonzalez 7 1 17, Brumagin 2 0 5, Sanchez 0 0 0, Rodriguez 0 0 0, Carlson 0 0 0, Butts 1 5 7, Johnson 11 1 23. Totals 24 7 58.

3-point goals–Bosinski, Colpoys 2, McDonald 2, Nalawadi 2, Gonzalez 2, Brumagin.

Orchard Park 15 11 10 24 — 60

Jamestown 16 12 15 15 — 58

Jayvees: Jamestown 70, Orchard Park 60.

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