"Grand Island High School Sports Briefs for week ending February 23, 2012"
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Boys Basketball - Wed., Feb. 22, 2012
Class A-1 Pre-quarter Finals
Feb. 23, 2012 Niagara Gazette Story
Hamburg 52 - Grand Island 51
The longest 14 seconds of Grand Island's season proved to be its last.
Hamburg's Tom LaPomi hit a 17-footer at the buzzer to end Grand Island's season in the Class A pre-quarterfinals in a 52-51 thriller on Wednesday.
LaPomi had just six points on the night but his final two were the most important answering a 3-pointer from freshman Quinn Carey that gave the Vikings a 51-50 lead with 14 seconds left on the clock.
Following a timeout on the baseline with 1.4 seconds left, Hamburg's inbound pass deflected and bounced twice before coming to LaPomi, whose desperation shot gave the Bulldogs (10-9) the win.
Carey led the Vikings with 14 points while Jordan Jelks added another 11 points.
Boys Basketball - Tues., Feb. 21, 2012
Class A-1 Pre-quarter Finals
Feb. 22, 2012 Niagara Gazette Story - 11-Grand Island (4-14)
at 6-Hamburg (9-9) - 7 p.m.
Grand Island won a play-off game last year, a 64-63 Class A play-in game against Lake Shore a year ago today.
This season there are no play-in games.
Grand Island struggled through its Niagara Frontier League schedule this winter but Vikings coach Nate Beutel hopes his team saved its best game for last.
"I think we've played better basketball over the last month or so," Coach Beutel said. "We've just played more competitive the second time around in the league and some of our ninth and 10th graders have really grown up."
The second-year coach said with few expecting a Grand Island win, his young team can play a comfortable game on the road tonight.
"There's really no pressure on us at all. We're the No. 11 seed," Beutel said. They've got a bunch of seniors that have been in the program for a while. They have all the pressure on them. We're going to have some fun and see what happens."
The Vikings are led by freshman Quinn Carey, who has received plenty of attention from opposing teams this year. Beutel said Carey will get his points, but others on the Vikings will have to be shot-ready tonight.
"Hamburg does play good defense," he said. "When people are open they're going to have to knock down open shots.
"It sounds simple but it's really the name of the game," Beutel added. "Points are going to be at a premium."
Hamburg went 7-5 in the ECIC II this season, finishing fourth on the strength of a pair of seniors, guard Nick Benningfield and forward Eric Moscato. Benningfield averaged 18 points per game during the regular season, while Moscato - a 6-foot-5 All Western New York selection in volleyball - has size the Vikings have struggled to combat all season.
The winner will travel to Williamsville East for a quarterfinal meeting 7 p.m. Friday.