Recent losing trends apparently didn’t faze either the Aquinas Institute or Bishop Kearney boys’ basketball teams this post-season.
Aquinas captured the Section 5 Class A championship with a 69-55 win over Franklin in the title game held March 3. AQ reached the state quarterfinal round and finished its season with a 22-2 record, a remarkable turnaround from its 3-18 finish in 2006-07.
Meanwhile, Kearney netted the Section 5 Class B crown. The Kings scored a 61-46 win over Wellsville in the title game on March 3 before being eliminated in the state qualifying round. BK finished with a 12-11 record and won its second straight sectional, despite entering post-season play with losing records both years.
Also reaching sectional finals were the Bishop Kearney girls (16-7), who made the Section 5 Class CCC title game; and McQuaid Jesuit boys (13-9), who advanced to the Section 5 Class AA final.
The top-seeded Little Irish were knotted 30-30 with second-seeded Franklin at halftime of their sectional final, but AQ put together a 15-0 run in the third quarter to go ahead for good. AQ’s balanced scoring saw Todd Wingate with 14 points; Tim Crilly and Tyler Patterson, 12 each; D.J. Wing, nine; and Nick Piccone, eight. The Irish had reached the final with a 46-42 win over No. 4 Wilson in semifinal play on Feb. 26 as Crilly had 11 points and Piccone netted 10.
Aquinas saw its season end in the state Class A quarterfinals with a 57-55 loss to Buffalo McKinley on March 11. The Irish were led by Matt Jones with 12 points and Wing, Patterson and Jonathan Jones with 10 each.
The Class B sectional final saw the No. 3-seeded Kings march out to a 21-9 lead after one quarter against No. 1 Wellsville. It was up to 20 points, 53-33, by the end of the third quarter. Anthony Terry led BK with 21 points, and Mike Matthews also reached double figures with 10. The Kings had gotten to the title game with a 57-51 comeback win over No. 2 Mynderse Academy in a Feb. 28 Class B semifinal behind 14 points from Blair Roberts, 12 from Terry and 11 from Chris Washington.
Kearney’s season ended in the state Class B qualifier game with an 82-78 loss to Charlotte, the Section 5 Class BB champion, on March 7. Terry turned in a stellar effort, scoring 38 points including 31 after halftime.
BK, seeded third, had advanced to the Class CCC championship game with a 46-32 win over second-seeded Pembroke in a Feb. 24 semifinal as Serena Moore had an eye-opening triple-double — 26 points, 18 rebounds and 10 blocks.
But the Kings couldn’t get past top-seeded and unbeaten Marion, as the Black Knights pulled away from a 33-33 tie for a 46-36 win in the title game on March 1. Moore had a team-high 17 points.
In addition to BK, it was a winning year for two other Catholic high-school girls’ teams in Monroe County: Our Lady of Mercy posted a final record of 16-6 and reached the Section 5 Class AA semifinals as the No. 4 seed, and Nazareth Academy went 12-10 and made the Section 5 Class A semifinals as the seventh seed.
The Knights, seeded fourth in Class AA, reached the final with a 57-47 win over No. 8 Brockport on Feb. 26 behind 17 points from Mike Labanowski, 13 from Conor Quinn and 11 from Jack Marchand.
McQuaid’s season was ended by second-seeded Greece Athena, 39-36, in the title game on March 3. The Knights came back from a 10-point halftime deficit, but missed on two chances for a tie in the low-scoring contest’s final minute. Quinn and Labanowski led McQuaid with 14 and 13 points, respectively.
Among other boys’ teams, it also was a solid year at Geneva DeSales, where the Saints went 15-7 and reached the Section 5 Class D semifinals as the No. 2 seed. Elmira Notre Dame’s boys, seeded third in Section 4 Class C, reached the semifinals as well while posting a final record of 14-7.