Class B Federation semifinal: Collegiate 59, Olean 46
Mar 28, 2008 4:18:55 PM / Comment
Last year the only WNY team here was the East Aurora girls after their Class B championship (the Blue Devils lost in the semifinals). The last local team to win a Federation title was Niagara Falls, during their historic 2005 season; that was the first time a Western New York boys team won the largest class of the Federation.
Olean (25-2) will take on Manhattan's Collegiate School (25-5), winner of the state independent title in Class B.
4:09 p.m. There's 15 minutes to go until tip off and the teams just arrived on the court. Collegiate just trotted out on the court, while Olean did their pregame huddle-chant-roar thing, then hit the court through a double line of cheerleaders and did a lap of the court as about 50 to 75 students made some noise. It's not the biggest thing in the world, but at the Federation championships, having that kind of support can help. There maybe 500 people in the Civic Center, making the big, old building a little more cavernous than it was when crowds of 2,000 routinely filled it for the state public school final four.
4:14 p.m. Canisius High alum Ben Batory just said hello. He's a volunteer assistant at Collegiate. In 2003-04, he coached Canisius High during one of the more difficult seasons one could think of; he took over for Tom Keenan the year he stepped away from his coaching duties due to his battle with cancer. During the season, Keenan passed away and his players dedicated the season to him.
4:24 p.m. Olean is introduced, then goes into it's floor-dive-huddle-thing.
4:36 p.m. At the end of the first quarter, Olean has a 17-15 lead thanks to a three-pointer by sophomore point guard Joe Palumbo just before the buzzer. I must be rusty because I think I missed a basket in my notes somewhere.
4:44 p.m. Our first timeout of the game! Which does NOT help the live blogger. OK, Collegiate called a 30-second timeout holding a 27-23 lead with 2:01 left in the second quarter.
4:48 p.m. Collegiate's Christian Fisch hit a three-pointer from the top of the key at the halftime buzzer to give the Dutchmen the largest lead by either team so far (six) as it leads, 32-26.
4:53 p.m. Some catching up. Both teams haven't played in a while -- Olean two weekends ago, Collegiate won the independent title on March 9 -- but they sure haven't shown it. Sam Moore, Olean's 6-4 senior, opened the game by swishing a three-pointer, which was answered by Collegiate 6-1 junior Harrison Green; then Olean 6-foot senior Chris Weidt hit a three, which was also answered by Green. Jake Houseknecht, who has been bigger than his 6-8 frame for the Huskies in the postseason, finished a very nice post move with a hook for Olean's next basket. Palumbo has been very big for the Huskies, hitting three three-pointers among his 11 points.
4:58 p.m. Some more stats as the teams are about to tip off for the second half: Collegiate shot 43 percent (12 of 28) while Olean came in at 42 (10 of 24). Collegiate hit 5 of 9 threes, Olean hit 6 of 11. Mike Nelson, Collegiate's 6-1 senior post player, has had several smooth baskets inside and leads the Dutchmen with 10 points; Green has nine and 6-6 sophomore Will Bartlett has eight.
5:03 p.m. Olean coach Jeff Anastasia calls a timeout with 5:39 left in the third quarter. A putback by Nelson has given Collegiate a 38-28 lead.
5:13 p.m. Sam Moore follows up a turnover by stealing the ball back, calling a timeout just before he slides out of bounds with 26.9 seconds left in the third quarter and Collegiate leading, 47-34.
5:14 p.m. Collegiate's lead remains 47-34 at the end of the third quarter. That was a 15-8 third quarter for Collegiate, ending with a 6-2 run to push the lead to 13. Collegiate is running its offensive sets excellently while Olean hasn't been able to get the ball into Houseknecht and has been plagued by turnovers and missed shots.
5:16 p.m. Now that's a great way to start the fourth quarter. Houseknecht just slammed in an alley-oop pass from Palumbo on Olean's first possession to cut the Collegiate lead to 47-36.
5:22 p.m. Collegiate coach Ray Voelkel calls a timeout with 4:14 left in the game and the Dutchmen
leading, 49-38. Houseknecht had a sweet finger roll for Olean's last basket two possessions ago.
5:26 p.m. Fisch just hit one free throw to put Collegiate up, 50-41, with 2:59 left. Weidt hits a three-pointer to cut it to 50-44 with 2:42 to play.
5:30 p.m. Anastasia calls a timeout with Olean trailing, 54-45, with 1:19 to play and Olean 6-2 junior James Chatmon headed to the line for the second of two free throws.
5:35 p.m. There's not going to be enough time for Olean. With 29.4 seconds left, Collegiate leads, 59-46. Olean has missed its last four shots from the field while Collegiate has gone 7 of 10 from the line.
5:36 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Collegiate 59, Olean 46. Collegiate advances to tomorrow's Federation Class B championship against Catholic state champion St. Agnes. St. Agnes beat New York City's Secondary School, 55-51, in the preceding semifinal.
Class B state public school champion Olean finishes its season 25-3 -- it is remarkably its first loss since the Al Pastor Tournament in early December of last year.