With just seven players available, the Niagara Catholic Patriots had the deck stacked against them Sunday afternoon in Monsignor Martin boys hoops action. The Patriots, though, gave a valiant effort in a 79-75 loss to visiting Canisius.

“The kids played hard,” Niagara Catholic coach Chuck Sprigg said. “It was another close one, we just can’t get over the top.”

Dyrell Dolson led the Patriots (6-12 overall, 3-7 MMAA), finishing with a game-high 37 points.

Canisius (14-4, 7-1) got balanced scoring, as Anthony Ragusa had 18 points, Justin Young finished with 17 and Pat Wilson chipped in 15.

Niagara Catholic went 17-for-32 from the free-throw, while Canisius was 21-for-31. The Crusaders led, 48-32, at halftime, but the Patriots mounted a comeback in the fourth quarter, outscoring Canisius 30-15.

Girls junior varsity

- Niagara-Wheatfield defeated Lockport, 34-19. Erick Furdak had 10 points and Kailey Walck added seven for the Falcons (14-2). Destiny Rafter had four points for Lockport.

Federation hockey

St. Joe’s 3, St. Francis 0

In a matchup of division leaders in Federation play, Mark Goulding made 31 saves to lead the large-school Marauders to the shutout win.

Cole Schneider had two goals and Anthony Caruso added the other for St. Joe’s which improved to 17-3-3 on the season.