Purple Eagles look to end long sectional title drought
Looking to keep the momentum from Wednesday’s semifinal win over the top seed, No. 4 Albion is now taking aim at ending a 33 year long boys basketball sectional title drought.
Albion, which upended top seeded Burgard 62-54 in the semifinals, will face No. 10 Maryvale for the Section VI Class B1 championship at 1:45 p.m. Saturday at Buffalo State College.
Albion, which opened sectional play with a 78-62 win over No. 5 East Aurora in the quarterfinals, used a a stingy, aggressive defensive effort combined with a balanced scoring attack to defeat Burgard, a win which also avenged a season opening 54-42 non league loss to the Bulldogs.
Clayton Stanton, who dominated inside, and Des Blackmon both scored 16 for the Purple Eagles against Burgard. Austin Loyd added 9, Tommy Mattison 8, Manny Thompson 7 and Alex Bison 6.
“Offensively a key for us will be to get the ball inside to Clayton. He’s a big tool that we want to utilize,” said Albion Coach Brennan Meakin. “And defensively we’ve got to continue to play well and be ready for anything they throw at us.”
Albion last reached the sectional finals in 1982 when the Purple Eagles dropped 51-35 decision to Grover Cleveland of Buffalo in the Class B2 title contest.
The Purple Eagles have claimed a Section VI title only once, in 1972 with a narrow 67-66 overtime victory over Salamanca.
Maryvale has had the much longer road to the finals as the Flyers have put together a four game win streak in sectional play to advance to the title contest.
After defeating No. 15 Lafayette 69-44 and No. 7 City Honors 71-47 in the preliminary rounds, the Flyers posted a pair of close wins upending No. 2 Depew 49-47 in the quarterfinals and No. 3 Medina 46-43 in the semifinals despite scoring only two points in the fourth quarter.
“We’re peaking at the right time and so are they so it should b a great game,” said Meakin. “Albion hasn’t won a title since 1972 so we have the opportunity to accomplish it. We’ve come a long way since the beginning of the season. We’re really a team now and we’ve got to keep working together as a unit.”
The winner will face the B1 champion (the winner of Saturday’s No. 5 Buffalo East vs. No. 3 Fredonia game) for the Section VI Class B berth in the state playoffs on March 10 at Buffalo State at 6:45 p.m.