SINCLAIRVILLE - Oracle Charter had an impressive showing Friday to down Westfield, 80-53 and clinch first place in the Cassadaga Valley Holiday Basketball Tournament.
"Going back a couple years, we used to get killed by these teams," Oracle Charter coach Brian Pawloski said. "These are some good coaches and they had our number for a while. I probably have four of the most talented seniors I've had and they are all on the same team."
The Wolverines kept it close in the first quarter as they trailed the Phoenix, 23-17 through the first eight minutes.
OBSERVER?Photo by Lisa Monacelli
Westfield’s Jon Coe (22) drives to the basket during the championship game of the Cassadaga Valley Tournament on Friday.
"We played hard," Westfield coach Bob North said. "We played a nice team that moves the ball very well. Being a zone team, it is hard to defend against a team that can drive the baseline and find their big guy like they did against us. This was a good game for us because down the road, if you want to be one of the top teams, you will have to face teams like this."
The Phoenix stepped up their game in the second quarter as they were able to build a 48-34 lead at halftime.
Tournament MVP Jamarr Cunningham led Oracle Charter with a game-high 20 points.
For Westfield, Tanner Dahl and Jon Coe both received all-tournament recognition as Coe led the team with 18 points and Dahl chipped in with nine.
The Wolverines got a nice boost from Jesse Rodriguez off the bench with eight points.
"We've been looking for someone to come off the bench and give us a spark," North said. "Jesse did a really nice job of that for us."
Oracle Charter also had big games from two of its other starters. Julius Allen had 12 points and earned all-tournament team honors while Eric Waters chipped in with 15 points.
"It is nice to play against these teams that work their tails off," Pawloski said. "It makes us work harder. We appreciate the opportunity to bring our guys down here and show that we have a group of quality players."
In the opening game, Cassadaga Valley got off to quick start which eventually doomed the Clymer Pirates, as the host team went on to win, 52-40.
The Cougars opened up on 19-6 run throughout the first quarter.
"We dug ourselves a hole in the first quarter," Clymer coach Dan White said. "It was an uphill climb from there, but we did a better job in the final three quarters, switching from a zone to man-to-man."
The defensive change worked as the teams played to a 9-all tie in the second quarter.
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"This was a big game for us," Cassadaga Valley coach Rich Clifford said. "We are trying to build confidence and a win like this did that for us."
The second half was just as evenly matched as the Cougars only outscored the Pirates 25-24 in the final two quarters.
"We made them work for shots," Clifford said. "The confidence will continue to build as we play tough teams and get some wins."
Making the all-tournament teams for Clymer was Dan Lictus who racked up nine points in the loss while Mitch Einink led the Pirates with 17 points and 11 boards.
Cassadaga Valley was led by Mike Lancaster who had 16 points and eight boards, which was good enough for all-tournament honors.
Cody Johnson had 13 points, while Randy Dalaba was also in double-digits with 10.