BUFFALO, N.Y.-Silver Creek remains unbeaten this season after they defeated Middle Early College on Tuesday at Buffalo State College for the Section 6 Class C Championship, 67-62.
The Black Knights dominated the first quarter and looked like they would run away with the game, but the Kats kept fighting to keep the game close, looking for a chance to take the lead.
Silver Creek began giving the ball away in the second quarter, letting the Kats back in the game. The game swayed back and forth, but the Black Knights controlled the lead for the majority of the game. Silver Creek led 33-29 after the first half, but the Black Knights came out in the second half with a sense of urgency, led by an inspired performance by Senior Captain # 52 Zed Williams.
Williams took control of the game with exceptional ball handling and his attack the basket mentality. Williams wasn't going to let his team lose on this night, he was determined and focused to lead his team to victory. Zed finished the game with a team-high 25 points on this emotional night where he showed enough heart for everyone in the gym.
Williams, headed to Virginia with a lacrosse scholarship next fall, had a little bit more on his mind on Tuesday than basketball. Although Zed had a great game, he was playing for a bigger reason and more than just himself.
On August 6th 2012, Carney Johnson, one of William's close friends and Six Nations Junior Rebel lacrosse teammate took his life. Williams had Carney in the back of his head this season, and he showed tonight that he was not only playing for himself and his teammates, but for a town and everyone who supported the Black Knights. Williams said " I have a friend that passed away, and he is still with me". Silver Creek Head Coach Rob Genco said " He had somebody pass away that was near and dear to him on his Junior B National Championship team, and from day one he has been doing it for bigger reasons than himself".
Coach Genco also added " I knew Zeddy would rise to the occasion. He is a special athlete and I don't think people give him enough credit on the court. He has been doing it on the lacrosse field and that's where he has been getting his merits. I'm truly happy for him, he played for a bigger reason tonight and it showed out there. He had one of the best players in Western New York guarding him tonight and he wasn't intimidated, and he did it for his community, his town, and his family".
Williams added that " It's just hard work, coach said since day one that hard work beats talent any day, and that's what we have, hard work and heart "
Middle Early College was led by Senior Captain # 2 Keir Anderson with a game-high 26 points. Anderson willed his team back into the game, but couldn't come out with the win on Tuesday.
Silver Creek Senior Center # 32 Bill Brooks added 20 points for the Black Knights, and Junior Guard # 10 Kaine Kettle had 12 points. Brooks had an exciting dunk with 1:39 seconds remaining to give Silver Creek a 63-57 lead.
The Black Knights sealed the game with free-throws in the final seconds. " This is the best feeling I've had in a while" said Brooks, " I just love my team, I have everyone behind me and we're just going to take it as far as we can take it". Brooks also added " It was a battle, that's a very good team. We just kept on doing what we do best, we just had the support of everyone around us and came out with the W ".