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Published: January 16, 2009 11:26 pm  

BOYS BASKETBALL: Vikings remain unbeaten behind Stalyga

By Nate Beutel
Niagara Gazette

He’s 6-foot-6, can handle the ball, shoot the 3 and Friday he even played a little defense.

Anyway you look at it, Jonas Stalyga is a dynamic player.

The Grand Island junior poured in a game-high 25 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and dished out five assists as the Vikings topped host Lewiston-Porter 63-51 in Niagara Frontier League action. GI is now 10-0 overall and 6-0 in the NFL.

“He’s a mismatch for everybody because he can post you up if you put someone smaller and quicker on him and he can shoot over and drive past you if you put a bigger, slower guy on him,” Lew-Port coach Pat Krawczyk said of the Canisius transfer.

Stalyga, who struggled taking care of the ball a bit in the first half, took his game to another level in the second. He made several key passes during a 9-0 third-quarter run that extended GI’s lead to 15 and then closed the game out with 10 key fourth-quarter points.

“I had to step it up,” Stalyga said of his strong second half. “The game started to slow down for me, I started to find open guys and then my shot started falling.”

The Vikings’ 2-3 zone also began to frustrate the Lancers, who struggled from the floor all night long. Even Lew-Port’s all-time leading scorer, Robby Seyler, was held in check for most of the night. He finished with 25 points, but a handful came when the game was out of reach.

“The zone was much more active in the second half,” GI coach Greg Ross said. “I’d love to see that all the time.”

One thing Ross does see on a consistent basis is a hefty rebounding edge for his squad and this contest was no different with the rebounds going in GI’s favor, 50-25. Greg Feathers led GI with 15 boards.

“Every time down the floor we’d get one shot and they’d get two or three,” Krawczyk said. “Even with their height advantage, though, we did not force enough turnovers and get enough easy buckets.”

Alex Neutz, the Niagara Gazette football player of the year, helped the Vikings overcome a strong start from the Lancers. The senior had 12 of his 14 points in the first half. He also finished with 12 rebounds.