Sometimes all it takes is a little baby love.

That’s what Niagara Falls sophomore Kelvin Agee got after picking up a technical foul midway through the third quarter on Tuesday.

NFHS coach Giulio Colangelo sat Agee for the next few minutes, but when Agee re-entered the game he came out with a vengeance in leading the host Wolverines, Greater Niagara Newspapers’ No. 1 team, to an 85-59 Niagara Frontier League victory over No. 3 Kenmore West at the Wolvearena.

“He needs to realize when to keep his composure,” Colangelo said. “He sat down for a few (minutes) and I think he learned from it and came back and did a real nice job.”

Kenmore West guard Mike Maritato nailed a 3-pointer to cut the Niagara Falls lead to 58-50 with a minute remaining in the third quarter, but the next time down the floor the Blue Devils’ Scott Grandits missed a layup that would’ve slashed the lead further.

On the ensuing possession, Agee put in a left-handed lay-in and got fouled in the process. He finished the play by making the free throw and extended the NFHS lead to 61-50.

“It seemed like a little momentum switch,” Ken West coach Jim Badgley said of Agee’s 3-point play.

Agee, who finished with 16 points and three steals, went on to score the first five points of the fourth quarter and in the process expand the NFHS lead.

“Kelvin kind of got us rolling again,” Colangelo said. “We switched defenses to a half-court zone, which really slowed them down a little and allowed us to get the rebound and run out in our transition offense.”

Jonny Flynn, both an initiator and beneficiary of the transition game, finished with a game-high 27 points and 10 assists for the Falls (13-1 overall, 9-0 Niagara Frontier League).

Badgley said he can’t fault his team — especially Grandits — but in the end the Devils just couldn’t respond.

“They answer so quickly, so it’s hard to come in here and get a lot of momentum (as an opponent),” he said.

In the first half with the Blue Devils (8-7 overall, 6-3 NFL) sitting in a 3-2 zone, the Wolverines used their distinct height advantage to gather 13 offensive rebounds and turn them into 19 points as NFHS built a 47-31 halftime lead. Junior center Eric Spanbauer, who had 10 points and 10 boards, scored the first six points of the game off offensive putbacks.

“We played a 3-2 zone to take away Flynn and Tabb as much as we could and unfortunately they’re bigger and we’re smaller,” Badgley said. “Maybe we put too much emphasis on the guards.”

Rahshon Tabb added 16 points and six rebounds, Mike Crumpton had seven boards and Keenin Bryant pulled down five rebounds for the Wolverines.

Edvin Ramulic led the Blue Devils with 21 points and eight rebounds, while Mike Licata had 14 and Joe Mogavero added 10 points and eight rebounds.

The last three matchups between the two teams, including last year’s opening round sectional game, have included some sort of run from West, which gives them confidence heading into a possible rematch when the playoffs roll around this season.

“We’re not intimidated by them, I don’t think,” Badgley said. “They’re a good team and obviously we’d have to get them on a poor shooting night, but I think we can play with them.”

Contact Nate Beutel at 282-2311, Ext. 2262.

Trending Video

Recommended for you