ALLEGANY — It was a heavyweight battle as far as season openers go.
On Tuesday, defending Section 6 Class B-2 champion Allegany-Limestone hosted Genesee Valley, which last year won 15 games and lost in the Section 5 Class D-1 semifinals by a bucket. Both teams had welcomed back a couple of key pieces — A-L in the form of four starters and the Jaguars in big men Evan Windus and Cody Schneider.
And though the Gators had control from the outset, it still had to withstand a strong test from its inter-county adversary.
Gus Napoleon had the hot hand, draining seven 3-pointers and finishing with 29 points, and Casey Curran notched 17 points and 13 rebounds to key Allegany-Limestone to a 73-64 triumph in a non-league showdown.
A-L jumped out to a 22-11 lead and had a 39-26 advantage at the break, but the Jaguars kept it competitive by trimming the lead to single digits heading into the fourth quarter.
Ben Giardini had his own double-double of 13 points and 10 boards while Jayden Gustafson handed out six assists for the Gators.
A-L’s strong performance offensively helped offset big nights from Windus and Schneider — both 6-foot-4 — who went for 29 and 19 points, respectively, and combined to hit all of GV’s eight 3-pointers.
“Their two bigs are really tough, and we knew that going in,” A-L coach Glenn Anderson said. “We wanted to keep them out of the post, and I thought we did a good job of that, but between the two of them, they stuck eight 3s. They made it difficult for us.”
Of Napoleon’s effort, he added: “Gus has been a really, really good shooter for us the last three years, and now he’s just getting the opportunity to showcase that a little bit. It was good to see.”
Corning-Painted Post 51, Wellsville 45
PAINTED POST — Max Jusianiec poured in 30 points with 15 rebounds, but Wellsville fell in its season opener.
Also for the Lions, Eli Schmidt had eight assists and Aidan Hart had nine rebounds.
Aiden Chamberlain scored 21 points and Alex Boychuck had 13 points for Corning-Painted Post.
“Tough opener going on the road to a much improved corning team,” Wellsville coach Raymie Auman said. “(We) had a great look with a minute left to tie it and the shot rimmed out. They came down and hit an end of shot clock three to seal it.”
Scio 60, Belfast 29
SCIO — Cam Loucks poured in 29 points and added 10 rebounds and four steals to power Scio to a season-opening triumph.
Brendan Graves added 19 points, five assists and four steals for the Tigers, who limited Belfast to eight or fewer points in each quarter.
“Our defensive intensity was really good for pretty much the whole game,” Scio coach Dillon McFall said. “When we play good defense like that, we’ll play good offense.”
Belfast opened the season 0-1.
Ellicottville 54, Silver Creek 42
SILVER CREEK — Clayton Rowland had a big double-double of 13 points and 20 rebounds to spark Ellicottville.
Logan Grinols notched a game-high 20 points for the Eagles (1-0), who outscored SC 17-4 over the final quarter to turn a one-point deficit into a double-digit win. Leif Jimerson added 11 points for Ellicottville.
For Silver Creek, Sam Braidich had 19 points.
Archbishop Walsh 53, Falk School 35
BUFFALO — Patrick Tufino recorded 19 points, including five 3-pointers, and Max Garvin notched 15 points to key Archbishop Walsh.
Xavier Laverty, a day after eclipsing 1,000 career points, added 18 points for the Eagles, who held a four-point cushion after each of the first three quarters before using an 18-6 final period to pull away.
“Yeah, we couldn’t pull away,” Walsh coach Andy Moore said. “We got it to 12-15 a couple times, but we’d let them back in it. Finally, in the fourth quarter we settled down and played a lot better.”
Walsh didn’t attempt a free throw as Falk was whistled for just four fouls, but did hit nine 3-pointers to Falk’s two in moving to 2-0.
“We really haven’t played that well; we’ve been inconsistent,” Moore said of his team’s 2-0 start. “But I think we’ve got a good group. They’ve been together for three years now, so hopefully good things can happen. We’ll look to keep maturing and playing better as we go.”
New Life Christian 58, Central Baptist 38
YORKSHIRE — Timothy Hutter had a monster night, dropping 30 points while pulling down 19 rebounds to power New Life.
Judah Ampiah-Kwofi had 11 points and eight rebounds while Gabe Lucena added eight points and seven assists for NLC (1-0).
Ryan Satchell scored 12 points and Will Mersman added 10 points for Central Baptist.