Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online


January 24, 2014

Chairmen of the boards

Lions out-rebound, out-last Blue Devils in NFL boys hoops showdown


For the first time since 2006, the Lockport Lions sit alone atop the Niagara Frontier League boys basketball standings.
The Lions jumped out of the gates quickly on Friday, then jumped out of their sneakers, dominating the boards throughout as they held on to beat previously-unbeaten Kenmore West, 55-49, in the biggest league game and before the biggest crowd in the Lions' Den in quit a few seasons.
With the win, head coach Dave Gilson's Lions improved to a league-best 9-1 and are 10-3 overall. Head coach Michael Meetze's Blue Devils dropped their first league contest, falling to 8-1 in the NFL and are 9-3 overall.
The math is simple with four games left — if the Lions can win out, they clinch at least a tie for the league title, but Gilson said that's looking too far ahead.
“We got a long way to go,” Gilson said. “I'm proud of my team and that we worked hard to pull out this win.”
Once again, the Lions were led by senior forward Ryan Lawrence, who poured in 19 points, including four clutch buckets in the deciding fourth quarter. Lawrence added 11 rebounds. Fellow senior Charlie Sobieraski had five points and a season-best 20 rebounds and hard-working senior forward Mo Townsend added 13 inside points and 14 rebounds in heavy traffic.
“I can always do more. I'm always hungry,” Lawrence said, when asked about his individual performance. “We knew we couldn't come out flat at home and I think in the end, we were more intense. We have to stay humble and we have to win out. We're playing as a team, we're running and we know our potential. If we all play for each other, we'll get there.”
The teams traded baskets early, but then LHS senior guard Colin Dougherty (15 points) swished a baseline jumper and Lawrence drained a 3-pointer from Pine Street and the Lions quickly pulled away. Lockport's unsung senior point guard Danny Bronson (5 assists) also nailed a 3-pointer and at the end of one quarter, Lockport led 18-8.

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