Stephens lifts Gowanda into title game of Pine Valley Tourney

OBSERVER Staff Report

SOUTH DAYTON – Zach Stephens had 15 points and 14 rebounds to help lead Gowanda (4-2) past Clymer, 43-41, during semifinal action at the Pine Valley Tip-Off Tournament.

“I think he’s just so much more of a leader,” Gowanda head coach Andy Bobseine said. “Obviously he’s a down-low presence, but last year, he would rip into players. That was critical (Saturday). He could have lost his composure, but he didn’t. That was nice to see. It makes a difference as a leader.”

The Panthers fell behind 11-6 after the first quarter, but stormed back to take a 21-20 lead into halftime.

“(Clymer) runs the matchup (defense),” Bobseine said. “And it can be a little tricky. When I was down in West Valley, I had to coach against Clymer.”

Gowanda was able to build its lead to 34-29 after the third quarter, and was able to hold Clymer off in the fourth quarter for the win.

John Kennedy added 10 points for the Panthers in the win.

“We were pumping it down to (Zach Stephens),” Bobseine noted. “And Kennedy, he saw a lot of action (Saturday) because I thought that’s where the mismatch was. And we really clamped down on defense (Saturday).”

Garrett McAfoose had a team-high 13 points in the loss while Pirates’ teammate Mitch Einink chipped in 12 points.

Gowanda will be back in action on Friday when they take on Riverside in the Springville Holiday Tournament.

Cassadaga Valley 48, Brocton 39

BROCTON – Cody Johnson scored 25 points in lifting the Cassadaga Valley Cougars (3-2, 1-0) to a 48-39 victory over Brocton (0-5, 0-2) on Saturday in CCAA West II boys high school basketball.

Fourteen of his 25 points came in the second half when all three big men for the Bulldogs battled foul trouble.

“We have to be more disciplined defensively,” Brocton coach Jeff Franze said. “We have been in foul trouble every game this season. We couldn’t stop Johnson. He is a very solid player.”

Brocton held a 9-5 lead after the first quarter, but the Cougars used a 17-7 second-quarter run to take the lead and never looked back.

Johnson and Mike Lancaster each had seven rebounds while Lancaster added six assists.

Bryan Graves led Brocton with 14 points and seven rebounds.