Maisonet helps Dunkirk move on in playoffs

Manny Maisonet came off the bench to score 13 points to help No. 10 Dunkirk (7-12) past No. 15 Springville (2-16), 65-42, Tuesday night during first-round Section 6 Class B-1 boys basketball action.

“He has a lot of energy,” Dunkirk head coach Jerome Moss said. “He always plays with a lot of energy and he came in and gave us a good spark. He came out with 13 points which was great. We were having a little bit of difficulty scoring until he came in the game and picked up the tempo for us. He definitely had a big contribution (Tuesday).”

With the Marauders down 13-12, Maisonet put up a desperation 3-pointer in the final second of the first quarter. After being fouled on the play, Maisonet connected on 2-of-3 free throws to give his team a 14-13 lead after a tightly contested first eight minutes.

“We knew we kind of matched up athletically with them,” Springville head coach Frank Noeson said. “It was going to be about who protected the basketball more, who was more aggressive on the boards – both offensively and defensively – and we did that early. We had our chances.”

Dunkirk built a 32-24 lead at halftime, thanks in large part to a pair of 3-pointers – one by Maisonet with 1:07 left in the second quarter, and another by Michael Bess with :18.2 seconds remaining. Bess was fouled on the play, converting the 3-pointer into four points and an 8-point cushion.

“That’s always important if you get something like that going,” Moss said. “It gives the guys a little energy and gets things going our way. I think that did that and gave us some confidence.

“Anytime you can go into the locker room after something like that, you start believing in yourself a little bit more and you get ready for the second half,” Moss added.

Alex Crossan added seven of his game-high 17 points in the second quarter, despite picking up a technical foul and spending significant time on the bench in foul trouble.

“Alex is a good ball player,” Moss said. “He just has to learn to keep his temper, and keep himself in check. When he does that, he’s one of the better ball players in the league. He realized that, and that it would hurt the team. So after that, he settled right down and played some good basketball for us.”

The third quarter wasn’t particularly kind to either team, as the Marauders scored 12 points and the Griffins just seven, with Dunkirk taking a 44-31 lead into the fourth quarter.

“I think we were kind of tense coming out,” Moss said of his team after halftime. “We weren’t hitting the open man as well as we did in the second quarter. I think once we relaxed, we came out and looked for the open man and we were hitting some good buckets to extend our lead.”

“We missed some layups, we missed some free throws and then we stopped playing as aggressively on the boards,” Noeson added. “And it started getting away from us.”

The Marauders picked it up in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Griffins, 21-11, as Crossan scored seven points and Maisonet five.

“We talked about our last home game that we had and how it wasn’t very pleasant for the seniors,” Moss said of his team’s loss to Olean. “They didn’t want to go out like that, so they were given a second chance to change that. And they were able to do that tonight. I’m very happy for them.”

Crossan finished with 11 rebounds to go with his 17 points. He also added two blocks, two steals and two assists while Maisonet added three rebounds and two assists to his stat line.

“It’s a playoff game, both teams want to win,” Moss said. “It didn’t matter what their records were, (Both teams) came out strong. They wanted to move on to the next round, so everybody was playing as hard as they could.”

Dunkirk moves on to play No. 7 Depew (11-7) tonight in a pre-quarterfinal matchup, but Moss is not worried about his team being tired.

“Actually, a lot of times that helps you out, because you’ve been on the floor and you’ve already played a little bit,” Moss said. “So you’re still a little bit hyped from the night before. Hopefully we can go up there and take care of Depew.”

The Wildcats and Marauders have some playoff history as then No. 6 Depew defeated then No. 3 Dunkirk, 70-55, in last year’s Class B-1 quarterfinal.

“That’s always in the back of everybody’s mind,” Moss said. “But there are two different teams that will be playing (tonight), so you can’t put a lot on that. You’ve got to put everything on the two teams that will be playing (tonight), and we’ve got to go up there and play good, solid basketball. Hopefully we can bring home a victory.”

NOTES: Jacob Lockett scored 11 points and hauled down five rebounds … Marquel Ruiz (five assists, two steals) and Bess finished with eight points each … Billy Dickinson had a team-high 14 points for Springville … Brian Seneca and Robert Fisher chipped in seven points each in the loss.