FALCONER — Gowanda outscored Falconer 19-9 in the first quarter of Thursday's Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association East Division 1 game, but after that the offense lost touch.
Falconer had stabilized and appeared to be in control of the game, closing to within a point of the Panthers late in the third quarter. The Golden Falcons missed their chance to tie the game in the final minute and instead Quentin Centner hit a huge 3-pointer to give Gowanda a 33-29 lead going into the final quarter.
Centner's triple sparked Gowanda's offense as the Panthers scored 17 points in the final quarter, earning a 50-36 championship victory on the road.
“Q does a great job hitting that momentum-changing shot,” said Gowanda head coach Lucas Brawdy.
“That starts our offense and things picked up. We got suffocated in the third quarter, they were playing great defense and those three got us rolling in the fourth,” Brawdy continued.
While Centner hit the shot that revived the Panthers, it was Trelin Warrior who led Gowanda (6-2, 2-1) all night on both ends of the court. Warrior had a game-high 21 points, eight steals and four rebounds.
“He’s a tremendous athlete.” Brawdy talked about Warrior. “He just moves around the field quicker and easier than anyone I've seen on defense. He's huge because he covers so much space and has very active hands. It's hard to pass around him or get around him because he's going to take that ball away from you.
Warrior scored 11 of its 21 points in the first quarter, then once Falconer (5-3, 1-1) slowed it down, the rest of Gowanda's offense began to struggle and the Golden Falcons started to come back into the match.
Falconer's defense held the Panthers to single-digit points midway through the quarters, holding Gowanda to just one field goal for seven minutes of the third quarter. However, even though its defense was getting the job done, the baskets still weren't falling for the Golden Falcons.
“It was a demoralizing two quarters there, because the rim wasn't letting anything go,” » said Falconer head coach Jordan Goold. “That’s basketball and you have to dig. We continued to play hard defensively, which gave us some life. That's what really kept us alive throughout the game, playing defense, playing defense, but it's difficult when the shot isn't going in. It sucks the life out of you.
It was Roger Markham who brought the Golden Falcons back into the game, bringing them within one point in the third quarter. Markham finished with 13 points, four rebounds and a team-high three steals.
With both teams missing shots, Falconer did a great job of taking second chances and slowing down Gowanda's offense. Falconer received 12 rebounds from Max Parmentier and Zach Markham added eight more.
The closest Falconer came to knotting the game was trailing 30-29 in the third quarter, but once Centner made the final shot of the third quarter, the wheels started to fall off.
“Things got difficult with five minutes to go” Goold added. “We lost the effort and started pointing fingers, pointing fingers at the referee, pointing fingers here and there. When you engage in this kind of behavior, this is the result you get. We need to go back to work tomorrow, get that unity back, do some work and hit the reset button on where we are.
Gowanda finished strong while Falconer had his worst quarter of the night en route to a 50-36 final. Centner finished the game with 13 points, three steals and six rebounds, Troy Jimerson had nine rebounds and a block and Seth Geiger added seven rebounds.