It seemed like the entire City of Lockport attended Monday night's Section Section VI Class AA boys basketball semifinal between our beloved Lions and Jamestown at Buffalo State College.
The only one who missed Gail Bentley's bus, however, was Lady Luck, and she was sorely missed.
Top-seeded Jamestown needed a miracle or two to beat head coach Dave Gilson's No. 5 Lions, trailing throughout most of Monday night's emotional and hard-fought contest, and they got more than a few in beating the Lions, 69-58.
On paper, a 22-8 fourth-quarter Jamestown run was the difference in a game that Lockport led most of the way, but a miracle bucket from his own free-throw line by Quinn Lee Yaw at the buzzer to end the first half and several three-pointers from Zack Panebianco off the backboard down the stretch and other minor miracles finally eliminated the Niagara Frontier League-co-champion Lions (14-4) from the playoffs.
The loss not only ended Lockport's outstanding season, it also overshadowed one of the greatest shooting performances in blue and gold history by gritty Lions senior Colin Dougherty.
Dougherty did everything but referee the game — like his dad used to — twisting and turning inside and burying bombs from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery for a team-high 26 points. Dougherty drew oohs and ahhs from the large crowd throughout with great moves to the basket and a great touch on his outside and running jumpers, but it just wasn't enough.
Panebianco topped the Red Raiders (16-4) with 26 points. Lee Yaw added 21 in a solid 1-2 punch. Seniors Charlie Sobieraski, Ryan Lawrence, Moziah Townsend and Ryan Guyton ended their LHS basketball careers with 12, 9, 9 and 2 points, respectively.
Dougherty's second straight three-point basket and another tre by Sobieraski gave Lockport an early 11-6 lead. Dougherty, who finished with 18 first-half points, added another three late in the stanza, but Panebianco's tre with two ticks to go knotted the game at 15-15 after one.