Buffalo, NY – The D'Youville men's basketball team suffered a loss in their final game of the season on Saturday afternoon, falling to the La Roche Redhawks by the final of 88-80.
The Spartans trailed by one to the Redhawks after 2:35 of play. La Roche increased their lead to nine a few minutes later before a Jeremy VanDuluitgaarden (Oneida, NY/Vernon-Verona-Sherrill) made layup made it a six point game after nearly six minutes of play. The Redhawks began to hit a variety of shots, making layups, jumpers and three-point shots, increasing their lead to 27-16.
A Haiden Ward (Bloomfield, NY/Bloomfield) three made it a six-point game for the Spartans, but La Roche would continue to keep their distance. The Redhawks would again go up by 11 after a made layup and then again on a made free throw with less than four minutes to go in the half. Back down to a single digit deficit at 42-33, D'Youville would go scoreless for the remainder of the first half as the Redhawks would score five consecutive points and lead 47-33 at halftime.
La Roche's lead grew to 17 at the start of the second half, leading 52-35. That lead would go up to 20 with 9:37 elapsed on the clock, but the D'Youville defense would begin to clamp down and allow the offense to get the team back in the game.
Trailing by 26, D'Youville went on an 11-5 run and cut the lead to 16, capped off by a Bayani Salinas (Antioch, CA/Antioch) three. VanDuluitgaarden scored five straight points for the Spartans as they trailed by 14, and then a Zach Blask (Portville, NY/Portville) three with a Mark Jorgensen (Spencerport, NY/Spencerport) made jumper made it an 11-point game with less than two minutes to go. However, the comeback attempt was too late in the game as the Redhawks defeated the Spartans in their season finale by the final of 88-80.
"Obviously it wasn't the way we wanted the season to end, but our guys represented the school, their families and all of us very well this season," said head coach Earl Schunk. "I want to thank the guys who finished their careers today for all they did for us. With all our good young players, the future looks really bright."
As he has done all season, VanDuluitgaarden led the team in scoring with 20 points. In his final game as a Spartan, Blask added 12 points while Salinas added five points and tied for the team lead in rebound with five. Off the bench, Simeon Heard (Rochester, NY/Charles Finney) added 11 points. Darrius Hartzog (Rochester, NY/Wilson Magnet) had five boards with eight points and tied for the team high in assists with two.
Jake Socha (Tonawanda, NY/Niagara Catholic) added 10 points to go with his three rebounds. Coming off back-to-back double-doubles, Brian Nwaekeke (Corona, CA/John F. Kennedy) scored six points. In total, 12 of the 13 Spartans that played recorded at least a point.