Niagara Falls coach Giulio Colangelo said his Wolverines had yet to see a team with the ability of Bishop Maginn before Sunday’s Class AA boys basketball state title game.

It showed.

The Wolverines’ quest for a second championship in four seasons ended with a thud, as Maginn scored a 68-37 win in the final at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

Tournament MVP Taran Buie had a game-high 15 points for the Griffins (25-1 overall). Maginn broke a 2-2 tie early on a field goal from Antonio Davis and never trailed again.

In a way, it was like the Wolverines were looking at a reflection of themselves in the mirror. Maginn won by using a quick, penetrating offensive attack that drew the Falls big men away from the basket and led to several points in the paint. The Griffins were also opportunistic on defense, using their speed to force several steals.

“We haven’t really faced that type of pressure at all this year,” Wolverines coach Giulio Colangelo said. “We struggled handling the ball. They took us out of our offense.”

An NBA-range 3-pointer from Griffins senior Terran Victoria gave Maginn a 16-9 lead at the end of the first quarter. Things would only get worse for the Falls from there, beginning with foul trouble for Rahshon Tabb.

The Wolverines senior picked up his third personal foul with 6:33 left in the second quarter on a push. That was the start of what would be a long afternoon.

“I was cold the whole night,” Tabb said. “I didn’t play very well. I tried to do too much and things didn’t work out.”

With Tabb on the bench, the Wolverines did show small signs of life with a 6-0 run in the second quarter, cutting the Griffins’ lead to 25-20.

But with a chance to pull within one possession, the momentum swung firmly in favor of Maginn. An attempted alley-oop from Davon Marshall to Myron Respress rimmed out and the Griffins went the other way. Maginn junior James Torres completed a traditional three-point play on the possession and the game went to half, 28-20.

“That kind of turned the momentum a little bit,” Colangelo said.

After Tabb opened the third quarter with a transition layup for the Wolverines, Maginn coach Richard Hurley called a timeout to relay a simple message.

“I said, ‘that’s enough or all five of you are coming out,’ and they didn’t get a run out the rest of the game,” the coach said.

A 13-3 run to end the third quarter, highlighted by a deep 3-pointer from Buie, made the score 47-28 Maginn.

“I think we just wore them down,” Hurley said.

Tabb concurred.

“They just beat us at our game,” he said.

Tabb’s career ended with 2:54 to play. After picking up his fourth foul, he was also assessed a technical foul, counting for his fifth and disqualifying foul.

The outcome at that point, though, had long been decided.

Maginn (25-1 overall) advances to the state Federation tournament March 28-30, back at the Civic Center. Torres finished with 12 points and five rebounds, while 6-foot-7 senior Shimeek Johnson had nine points and seven boards.

Tabb and Crittenden led NFHS (25-2) with eight points each. Kelvin Agee finished with four points and 10 rebounds in the loss.

Contact reporter Jay Skurski at 693-1000, ext. 117.

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