Amherst’s Kensy defeats father in A-2 semifinals
Chris Kensy’s Amherst Tigers downed Mark Kensy’s Maryvale Flyers, 64-45, in the Section VI Class A-2 semifinals at Buffalo State College, earning them a spot in the A-2 final for the fifth straight year.
“As soon as I heard last spring that Maryvale was going to be in the A-2 bracket, I told one of my friends that ‘I bet we are going to end up playing them’ and the chips fell where they did,” Chris Kensy said. “He’s been to Buffalo State the last eight times in the past 11 years. My dad’s teams have beaten teams they are not supposed to because of how disciplined and scrappy that they are, so to control the game was a nice experience.”
The Tigers shared the basketball, as evident by 17 assists, and attacked the boards, grabbing 18 offensive rebounds.
Chris Kensy said Maryvale played a box-and-one defense on senior T.C. Brown, which allowed Amherst to establish 6-foot-10 senior Amadi Ikpeze in the paint.
The St. Bonaventure-bound Ikpeze scored six points in the first quarter and 10 in the first half. He finished with 21 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks.
“We did a good job of establishing him early,” Kensy said. “Any time we have done that this season it has made the rest of the game easier for us to get other people going.”
Brown scored nine of his 23 points in the second quarter. Throughout the game, he was a perfect 7-of-7 from the free-throw line. He also recorded six rebounds and seven assists.
Senior Nick Foster scored eight points, including two big threes in the third quarter that helped the team pull away, to go along with eight rebounds, three assists, two steals and two deflections.
Senior Nathan Waldu added six points, 10 rebounds and two steals.
Junior Da’Shawn Hines had three points, two assists and two rebounds.
When Ikpeze was foul in trouble, junior Brian Fulford stepped in and contributed two points and four rebounds.
Floyd Remley led Maryvale with 10 points.
After the Maryvale game, Chris said his father was very complimentary of his program.
“He spoke highly of our program and our kids,” he said. “He said, ‘now go win it on Saturday.’ He was proud of the overall moment.
It was nice to hear.”
The top-seeded Tigers (21-1) face third seed Lewiston-Porter for the A-2 crown at 3:30 p.m., Saturday, at Buffalo State.
The Tigers opened their playoff run with an 85-42 quarterfinal home win over eighth seed Pioneer on Friday.
Amherst was in control for the entire game, leading 19-7 after the first quarter, 45-18, at halftime and 64-28 after the third quarter.
“We pressed them, held them to one shot and shared the basketball,” Kensy said.
Amherst played unselfish, recording 21 assists and 20 steals.
Brown paced the Tigers with 30 points, six assists, five rebounds, four steals and five deflections.
Ikpeze was also in double figures with 10 points, five rebounds, two blocks, two assists and two steals.
Foster (7 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals), Waldu (6 points, 3 steals), Hines (6 points, 3 assists, 2 steals), senior Jaylin Rose (5 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals), junior Will Alfieri (5 points, 4 rebounds), senior Rory Walsh (4 points, 4 rebounds), senior Sean Gibson (3 points, 2 rebounds) and junior Michael Walsh (3 points) also contributed.
“It was our last home game of the season so it was nice for everyone to play and contribute,” Kensy said.
The last time Amherst won the A-2 title was in 2013. Winning the section title is the next goal the team wants to achieve.
“Our kids seem focused and hungry,” Kensy said. “We’re like a family. We don’t want our season to end.”