Rams edge past host Purple Eagles

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 2 February 2023 at 9:12 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Roy-Hart’s Jamel Johnson Jr. drives in for a layup as Aquil Gaffney defends for Albion during the Rams win over the host Purple Eagles this evening.

Avenging an earlier season home court overtime loss, Roy-Hart outlasted host Albion 76-71 in a Niagara-Orleans League game this evening.

Jamel Johnson Jr. poured in a game high 36 points, including 13 in the decisive fourth quarter, to lead the way for Roy-Hart. Jackson Webber added 11, Dan Aquilina 10, Rem Albee 8, Nate Beyer 6, Justin Swygert 3 and Sam Bruning 2 for the Rams.

Blake Preston led Albion with 25 as Aquil Gaffney had 15, Javon Jones 14, Dylan Narburgh 5, Amari Jones and Nick Harling 4 and John Eibl and Sh’kwe Riley 2.

Breaking away from a 71-71 tie, Roy-Hart claimed the win by scoring the game’s final five points on a driving layup by Johnson Jr., his sixth of the quarter, a bucket by Aqulina and a free throw by Johnson Jr.

Albion had jumped out to a 23-16 first quarter lead as Preston tallied 9, Javon Jones 7 and Harling and Gaffney 4 each. Johnson Jr. scored 9 and Albee 5 in the period to keep Roy-Hart close.

Roy-Hart did pull even twice in the second period, first at 25-25 on a basket by Johnson Jr., and later at 33-33 on a three by Webber.

However, the Purple Eagles regained a slander 36-35 lead at the half on a late three by Preston.

Roy-Hart got rolling in the third period as the Rams outscored the Purple Eagles 19-4 over the first five minutes of the quarter to rally into s 14 point, 54-40, lead. Johnson Jr. had 6, Webber 5, Aquilina 4 and Albee and Beyer 2 each during that big run.

Albion though answered with a 14-2 run to close the quarter and rally back to within two, 56-54, heading into the decisive final period. Preston hit two threes and Javon Jones one to highlight that rally.

A bucket by Bruning and a three by Webber put Roy-Hart up by seven, 61-54, at the outset of the final period.

However, Albion again answered back this time to take leads of 65-63 and 68-65 as Preston, Javon Jones and Narburgh took turns hitting threes.

A pair of driving layups by Johnson Jr. put the Rams up 69-68 but the Purple Eagles countered with a bucket by Narburgh to regain the lead for the last time at 70-69.

Another driving layup by Johnson Jr. made it 71-70 Roy-Hart. Albion pulled even on a free throw by Amari Jones but the Purple Eagles could not score again as the final five points and the win belonged to the Rams.

Roy-Hart is now 5-4 and Albion 6-3 in N-O action.

Albion’s Nick Harling puts up a shot as Nate Beyer defends for Roy-Hart.

Albion’s Aquil Gaffney’s shot is blocked by Roy-Hart’s Nate Beyer and Jackson Webber.