Weekly Feature

2017-12-07 / Sports

JFK cagers win season opener

John F. Kennedy’s boys basketball team kicked off its 2017-18 season triumphantly Friday by trouncing Buffalo Arts, 57-27.

Balanced scoring and tough team defense were keys to the team’s first win of the season. The Bears forced multiple turnovers to help record 17 steals on the night, while senior point guard Nick Baker led the offense with 14 points and five assists. Jacob Braniecki (6 rebounds, 5 blocks, 3 steals) and Zack Manzella (5 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 assists) split 26 points for JFK.

Senior forward Jordan Snyder just missed a double double as he tallied eight points and nine rebounds to go along with his two blocks for JFK, which started quickly in the first quarter in jumping out to an 18-5 advantage. Baker hit two threes and Manzella scored five points to pace the Bears’ early efforts.

The Bears increased their lead in the second frame as Braniecki had six points and junior guard Mitchell Fischer came off the bench to score five. The Bears didn’t let up in the third quarter, outscoring the host Cavaliers by a 20-7 count before ultimately clearing the bench for the entire final quarter.

JFK shot 20-of-54 from the floor and 13-of-20 from the free-throw line for the game.

“This was a solid performance for an opening game,” coach Tony Krupski said. “Our guys were focused and I liked how when we got up on them we didn’t sit back. Defensively we were pretty strong and we did a great job of keeping alive rebounds that we couldn’t grab cleanly. I thought we got a lot of good looks offensively too, but we did settle for more perimeter shots instead of attacking the rim and looking inside more. That’s something we’ll continue to work on.”

The Bears will play their first home games of the season this week, including a game against West Seneca West Tuesday that ended too late for this edition. JFK closes out its week by facing crosstown rival Cleveland Hill in Friday’s divisional opener.

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