Weekly Feature

2011-02-10 / Sports

West boys basketball tops Orchard Park


A 16-3 outburst off the opening tip allowed West Seneca West’s boys basketball team to show Orchard Park that it meant business Monday, as the Indians picked up their second league win by defeating the Quakers, 57-44.

The Indians pushed their advantage to 18 by halftime, 36-18, and held on despite being outscored 26-21 in the second half to secure what coach Dan Chavanne called “a desperately needed league win.”

“Division wins are at a premium, but whenever a team can get one quarter of a real advantage, like we did in the first, that team will usually win,” Chavanne said. “The kids came out of the locker room motivated to play well defensively, and it paid dividends.”

Brian Blandin led the way for West with 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Mike Jones added 18 points and 17 rebounds. Zack Thomas chipped in with six points and 10 assists, while Devin Chavanne contributed three points and eight assists.

Monday’s win might have seemed more necessary to coach Chavanne after the Indians came up short against both Clarence (56-42) and Williamsville North (60-33) in league action last week. To West’s credit, Clarence had a much tougher time against the Indians on their turf as West cut the Red Devils’ advantage to 10 points, 32-22, going into the second half.

An offensive drought by both teams in the fourth quarter of last Tuesday’s game kept things from getting out of hand — and prevented West from making a true comeback bid.

“The kids played really hard, but we just missed some makable shots, especially inside,” coach Chavanne said. “If we make half of those, it could have been a different result.”

Jones led the way for West with 10 points and 12 rebounds, while Devin Chavanne (five assists) and Blandin (10 rebounds) each added nine points.

In Friday’s contest against North, West’s struggles with the Spartans’ pressure defense proved to be key to North’s victory. The Spartans jumped out to a 17-5 first-quarter lead and pushed that advantage to 41-23 going into the fourth quarter. North’s players also responded to West’s efforts to contain the Spartans’ stars.

“We kept a couple of their key players in check defensively, but they had some other guys step up to fill that void,” coach Chavanne said. “Overall, it was probably one of our poorest efforts of the year. We didn’t respond well to their pressure all game, and it led to a lot of turnovers and few shots offensively.”

Devin Chavanne and Jones each scored eight points to pace West, while Blandin finished with seven.

West (7-9, 2-8 league) closes out its regular season next week by facing Jamestown Tuesday and hosting Lancaster Thursday for its Senior Night game. West’s only other league win this year came at Lancaster, so coach Chavanne is certainly expecting the best of what the Redskins have to offer in the rematch.

“It was a close game with Lancaster last time, and they’re a solid team in our division,” coach Chavanne said. “Jamestown just lost for the first time, so they’re probably going to be a little aggravated when we see them. That said, if our kids play well defensively, they can compete with anyone. We just need to be at our best both nights to give ourselves the best shot at winning a couple of key league games.” e-mail: jnadolinski@beenews.com

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