Niagara Gazette — BUFFALO — One shot stood between the Lewiston-Porter boys basketball team and its first ever chance to play for a Section VI championship.
Unfortunately for the Lancers, it was a shot they didn’t take.
Trailing by two points with 10.2 seconds to play, senior Zack Keegan corralled a desperation pass and dribbled past the perimeter line, but by the time he had a chance to look up and take his shot, top-seeded Amherst was already celebrating its 51-49 win in a Class A-2 sectional semifinal game Wednesday at the Buffalo State Sports Arena.
Lew-Port, the No. 4 seed, was playing in its second straight sectional semifinal after making it to Buffalo State for the first time in school history last season.
“I’m really proud of my kids,” Lancers coach Matt Bradshaw said. “We didn’t come out victorious, but my kids hung in there the entire game. They fought back and we were one shot away from advancing.”
The Tigers (18-3) started the game strong on an 8-2 run to take a lead into the second quarter before the Lancers (12-8) answered with an 8-0 run of their own to pull ahead with about six minutes to play in the first half.
It was their only lead of the game.
Amherst dominated the boards and the remainder of the half while Lew-Port came up short on seemingly every free throw and rebound attempt, allowing the Tigers to close out and 18-point second quarter on a 14-1 run that put them ahead 26-16 at the half.
The Lancers trailed by as many as 12 points as they struggled to score in the second half.
But senior Tyler Dietz, playing his first and only season on varsity, kept them in the game.
He collected eight rebounds and scored a team-high 14 points, many of which came in late in the third and fourth quarters to allow Lew-Port to hang around.