Niagara Gazette — BUFFALO — Jordan Heine’s 10 points helped him gain MVP honors for the Sweet Home Panthers, but it was his two points after a James Nix block that helped seal the deal.
Sweet Home had three players in double figures as its topped Kenmore West 53-47 in the championship game of the Ken-Ton Holiday Classic that was played at Ken West on Saturday.
West’s Alex Price (12 points, four steals) drove to the hoop in an effort to knot the game at 47 when Nix reached out blocked the shot. Nine seconds later Heine scored to complete the four-point swing.
A close nit affair from wire-to-wire, it was Price’s three-pointer just before the buzzer that gave West the 17-15 lead after one quarter.
Noah Whalen (11 points, eight rebounds) hit big shots at key moments for West when the teams were matching each other bucket for bucket in a fast paced game. But when the fourth quarter came the Blue Devils could not buy a break as they got looks but shots did not fall.
“The fourth quarter came and we were slacking off. We (weren’t) playing our defense, weren’t boxing out and our shots weren’t falling,” Price said. “Today wasn’t our day, I guess.”
Defensively the Blue Devils inability to make crucial stops only seemed to magnify the offensive struggles they were having in the fourth.
“We were very passive in the paint,” said Blue Devils coach Mike Meetze, whose team had just six points inside. “I think we kinda let them have their way. We were concerned about their penetration and their shooters, but then we didn’t fall into that weak side, and they got a lot of easy baskets. When you’re struggling on offense and you’re struggling to get a point and all of a sudden the other kid comes down and gets a layup it’s deflating. Then you put the pressure on yourself and you get tight and your shots don’t fall and that’s kind of what happened tonight.”