Medina Journal-Register — NEWFANE — After a crazy few days of winter weather in Western New York, Roy-Hart boys basketball coach wasn’t sure what to expect from his team in Wednesday evening’s Niagara-Orleans League contest at rival Newfane.
For one thing, the boisterous Panthers “Blue Zone” student section always gets in the head of opposing teams, with its series of edgy chants. For another, the Rams hadn’t been able to practice much since the start of 2014, due to the frigid winter conditions.
No matter, though. Senior Alex Stoddard paced Roy-Hart with 19 points, 14 of which came before halftime, and the Rams came away with a 55-44 victory over the Panthers.
Roy-Hart improves to 2-1 in N-O competition, while Newfane drops to 1-3 in the league.
Rydza wasn’t particularly impressed with his team’s performance on the evening, but the Rams shot and rebounded well enough to earn a hard-fought league victory on the road.
“We did everything okay,” Rydza said. “We rebounded okay, played defense okay, shot the ball decent. It was a funny game. We didn’t do anything poorly.”
The Rams showed no signs of winter break rust early, using a 10-1 spurt to take a 12-5 lead after the first quarter. The run was highlighted with a three-point play by senior Cody Breedlove, who took a crisp pass from sophomore point guard Andy Xapsos and delivered.
Breedlove was a headache for the Panther lineup all throughout the game, coming away with numerous steals and driving hard to the basket time after time. The all-purpose player earned 16 free throw attempts — making 11 — on his way to a 15-point evening.
Senior Austin Heschke also had a solid game for the Rams, using his size to dominate inside and grab several offensive rebounds. Heschke helped Roy-Hart secure the win with two consecutive rebound-and-putback efforts late in the fourth quarter, giving the Rams a comfortable 49-35 advantage.