By Sam Wilson
Seniors Elliot Bowen and Griffin Chudy did their usual damage and then some for the Ellicottville boys basketball team Tuesday, but with two other starters dealing with injuries, the Eagles needed a spark off the bench.
Coach Dave McCann turned to sixth man junior forward Steven Rowland, who scored a season-high 14 points and pulled down five rebounds. Bowen poured in 25 points with 16 rebounds, three blocks and two steals. Chudy tallied nine assists and three steals with his 10 points, picking up more of the ball-handling duties as point guard Austin Grinols rested most of the game on a nagging injury.
Freshman Clayton Rowland added seven points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals for the Eagles (9-1, 2-1).
“Steven Rowland played a great game coming off the bench,” McCann said, “even right from the beginning before we had a couple injuries there, when he first came in. I thought he played his best game of the season tonight. And actually we just moved his younger brother Clayton up from the JV just this week and I thought Clayton did a really nice job for only his second varsity game.”
Of course, as well as the bench played, the Eagles’ two healthy captains, Bowen and Chudy, led the way as Grinols sat most of the game and Deric Leiper missed most of the second half icing a turned ankle.
“You lose your starting point guard a couple minutes into the game and he probably shouldn’t have played,” McCann said, “we tried to test it out in warmups and he wasn’t moving very well in the first few minutes so we made the decision to rest. I thought guys like Griffin stepped up and ran the show for us all night and played a great game, and then you’ve got Elliot. They’re just rock-solid leaders and they’re something I can count on.”
McCann said Steven Rowland can help the Eagles play off of the extra attention Bowen sees from defenses, like he did Tuesday night.
“Steven’s been showing he’s capable all year long in practices and even some flashes in some games and I thought tonight he put it all together,” McCann said. “He was aggressive, he was rebounding and he was attacking the basket and that’s tough when teams are going to kind of concentrate on Elliot in the post, it does open some things up for moving the ball and finding some other guys, another post player to find some open looks as well.”
Zach Mansfield led Pine Valley (5-5, 2-1) with 18 points, hitting three three-pointers. Trent Mihallo added 11 points and Robbie Clutter scored 10.
Leading 13-10 midway through the first quarter, the Eagles took control for good with a 21-4 run through the first five minutes of the second.
“I thought our defensive intensity picked up a little bit,” McCann said. “We didn’t give as many open looks, we rebounded a little bit better and we just sort of found a groove on defense.”
Leiper 1 0-0 3, Stuve 1 0-2 2, S. Rowland 6 2-3 14, G. Chudy 3 4-4 10, Grinols 1 0-0 2, B. Chudy 1 0-0 2, C. Rowland 2 3-5 7, Bowen 12 1-1 25. Totals: 27 12-17 67.
Pine Valley (45)
Loop 1 0-0 2, R. Snyder 0 0-1 0, Crisanti 1 0-2 2, Mansfield 6 3-6 18, M. Snyder 1 0-0 2, Clutter 4 2-4 10, Mihallo 2 7-8 11. Totals: 15 12-21 45.
Ellicottville 21 36 53 67
Pine Valley 13 22 32 45
Three-point goals: Ellicottville 1 (Leiper), PV 3 (Mansfield 3). Total fouls: Ellicottville 16, PV 12. Fouled out: None.
JV: Ellicottville won.