Weekly Feature



2008-01-02 / Sports

East overcomes poor defense, wins consolation at Clarence tourney

by PATRICK J. NAGY Reporter

Williamsville East senior Brian Wallden puts up a layup against Riverside during the Flames' 80-70 opening round loss of the Clarence Basketball Boosters Club Tournament last Thursday at Clarence. The Flames beat Niagara-Wheatfield, 65-44, in the consolation game on Friday. Wallden was named to the all-tournament team. Williamsville East senior Brian Wallden puts up a layup against Riverside during the Flames' 80-70 opening round loss of the Clarence Basketball Boosters Club Tournament last Thursday at Clarence. The Flames beat Niagara-Wheatfield, 65-44, in the consolation game on Friday. Wallden was named to the all-tournament team. Williamsville East's boys basketball team couldn't put a complete game on the floor against Riverside last Thursday in the opening round of the Clarence Basketball Boosters Club Tournament, and it cost them a win.

The Flames' offense scored 70 points but its defense allowed 80 to the Frontiers.

"We were not getting back on defense," said East coach Dennis Belote. "They must have had 18 to 20 easy fastbreak layups. That is usually our game. I thought that was the key."

Riverside led, 18-11, after the first quarter and 39-33, at halftime. Belote said his team had the lead briefly in the third quarter but trailed, 60-47, by the end of the third. Belote said his team cut the deficit to four in the fourth but Riverside forced crucial turnovers and hit foul shots.

East did most of its damage on offense inside. Six-foot-six senior center all-tournament selection Brian Wallden led all scorers with 24 points, including two three-pointers, 18 rebounds and five blocks. Six-foot-11 junior forward Mark Rutecki added 19 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks. Junior guard Peter Heim chipped in 15 points.

A.J. Hopson (20 points) and Justin Stokes (12 points) paced Riverside.

The Flames rebounded with a 65-44 win on Friday over Niagara Wheatfield in the consolation game, but it wasn't easy.

The Falcons jumped out to a 19-12 advantage before East outscored Niagara-Wheatfield, 20-5, in the second quarter, to lead 32-24, at halftime.

The shift on the scoreboard came from a shift in personnel.

"We came out really flat so I put kids on the floor who wanted to play," said Belote. "They all worked hard on defense and we shut them down."

East led, 45-32, after three quarters and went up by as many as 27 in the fourth.

Wallden paced all scorers with 26 points, 22 rebounds, four blocks and four steals. He made another two threes, giving him a team-high 16 in eight games. Wallden scored 11 in the second quarter.

Belote lauded the play of his bench, which scored 25 points and hustled on defense. Junior Kelse Lee was the leading scorer off the bench with six points. Seniors Andrew Steele, Adam Burtch, Roy Brown and junior Dave Mernan each scored three. Senior Ryan Ganzenmuller scored two.

Heim added seven. Rutecki scored five. Castine had three. Senior Chris Schiumo and junior Ryan Duggan each had two.

East (6-2, 2-1) travels to Hamburg for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off on Friday.

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