NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y.-Niagara Falls and Jamestown are no strangers to one another, the Wolverines and Red Raiders will meet in the AA Section 6 Championship game for the third year in a row on Saturday. Niagara Falls enters the game 17-3, coming off a 72-62 win against Kenmore West in the Semifinals.
The Jamestown Red Raiders come into the game with a 18-2 record and a win against Clarence in the Semifinals. The Red Raiders are dominated by staggering guard play, led by Senior guard Tommy Campion, who comes into the game averaging 22 points per game. Wolverines Senior point guard J.J Wilkes said " He's a great, great player. He is an outstanding offensive player, he can shoot the ball very well, attack the basket well, and I'm looking forward to guarding him".
One of the most intriguing match-ups in this game will be how the point guards defend each other. "He's a good player, he can score the ball. Just like J.J is to us, he is real important to them" said Niagara Falls Senior Center Jermaine Crumpton, " Just seeing these two guys matched up, it's fun to watch. They both mean a lot to each others teams. Just how they feel about Campion is the same way we feel about J.J."
Channel 2's Stu Boyar asked J.J Wilkes how it would feel to win the Section 6 Championship this year, Wilkes said " It means everything, this year is my last year playing basketball, this is a moment I have lived to remember my whole life if you ask me". " It's fun going out and competing against Jamestown" said Crumpton, " They're a tough team, we're a tough team. We're both going to go out and fight and we are hopefully going to come out with a victory tomorrow". Niagara Falls Head Coach Sal Constantino said, " I have nothing but respect for Coach Drake, I think Ben does a great job over there, and a testament to him for being there three years in a row."
Lockdown defender and senior guard Steffon Caffee says the team knows how big this game is and the Wolverines are ready, "I know they are very well coached, and they have great athleticism and great players. We're just going to work as a team to go in there most importantly focused to come out there and win this game. This is a big game for us".
Niagara Falls will be without Junior Vinzell Watkins on Saturday because of an ankle injury sustained in the final regular season game. This is a key injury for the Wolverines as they look for more scoring and production off of the bench now.
Jermaine Crumpton has been nominated for New York State Mr. Basketball and Gatorade Player of the Year in the state. Crumpton has been a large part of the Wolverines success this season, grabbing rebounds, setting the offensive pace, and becoming a lock down defensive player. "It's real exciting, I actually didn't know until about two weeks ago. Coach Sal came and told me I was up for Mr. Basketball for the state, and state Gatorade Player of the year, and I was real happy" said Crumpton, " It would really mean a lot, I really put a lot of work into this season. I come here everyday and work hard and try to make my teammates better, and the goal is to win a State Championship".
"We can't let depression set it, we can't let our highs be that high, and or lows be that low. I think the team that stays even keeled will be the successful team Saturday night" said Coach Sal Constantino. Wilkes added " The competition is very good, both guards and big men, it should be a phenomenal match-up".
Constantino will return to the Wolverines bench after missing the Kenmore West game because of a family matter.
Jamestown and Niagara Falls will tip-off at 8:15 on Saturday night at Buffalo State for the AA Section 6 Championship. You can see the game right here on wny.highschoolsports.net with Stu Boyar doing the play by play and St. Joe's head coach Mark Simon handling the color commentary. The winner moves onto the Far West Regionals next weekend in Rochester.