NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y.-Niagara Falls senior #10 Jermaine Crumpton hit a three pointer to start overtime and the Wolverines never looked back as they held on to defeat Bishop Kearney 52-47 at home on Friday. The game was part of the 13th annual Cataract Classic.
The Wolverines found themselves trailing late in the fourth quarter but junior #3 Vinzell Watkins hit two clutch free throws with 1.3 seconds left in overtime to tie the game at 40 and force overtime. Niagara Falls then went on a 7-1 run to start overtime. Bishop Kearney pulled within three late to make it 50-47 but two free throws by senior #13 Ramir Burton sealed it for the Wolverines.
Crumpton led all scorers with 18 points. Burton had 16 points and junior #3 Vinzell Watkins had 13 points.
The Knights, out of the Rochester area, were led by Syracuse bound 6'9" #35 Chinonso Obokoh with 11 points. Senior #5 Antwoine Anderson had nine points.
Niagara Falls got off to a hot start, going on a 10-3 run to start the game in front of a packed house but the Knights rallied back for 10 straight points to take a 13-10 lead with 4:57 left in the second quarter. Bishop Kearney led 17-15 at halftime.
The teams would continue to trade baskets all the way through the second half until Niagara Falls was able to take control in overtime.
"Defensively the kids had so much energy," says Niagara Falls Head Coach Sal Constantino. "One of the nights they saw a challenge and took it head on." Crumpton, who is going to Canisius next year, really impressed Coach Constantino.
"He walked out and saw a challenge. We saw him with cramps towards the end and he wouldn't come out. I have a new respect for him after tonight."
Niagara Falls will close out the Cataract City Classic Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. against Brunswick out of Ohio. That game will be the last of six games held at Niagara Falls High School on Saturday.