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St. Francis basketball improves to 2-1 in league

A BURSE TO THE BASKET — Senior Maurice Burse drives to the hoop in a recent St. Francis loss to Nichols. The Red Raiders have beaten fellow MMAA squads Niagara Catholic and Walsh. Photo courtesy of Ron Larson.
A 25-13 third quarter provided enough separation for the St. Francis basketball team to earn its second Monsignor Martin win of the season.

The Red Raiders won on the road, 55-45, over Archbishop Walsh in Olean, on Jan. 3, behind a team-high 16 points and 11 rebounds from senior Maurice Burse.

In an ultra-competitive league from top to bottom, the win puts St. Francis at 2-1 as it heads into the meat of the schedule, against many fellow large schools and other formidable small schools. The team is 3-5 overall.

Also for the Red Raiders, junior guard Kordell Holness finished with 14 points, 5 assists and 4 steals. Senior forward Dave Kennedy added 8 points, while fellow upperclassmen up front Trey Holness and Austin Taylor notched 8 and 7 rebounds, respectively.

St. Francis’ other league win was an 81-79 overtime thriller over Niagara Catholic on Dec. 17, while the team dropped 64-56 game to MMAA foe Nichols on Dec. 30.

The Red Raiders also took third at the Jolley Boys Tournament hosted by Williamsville South over the holiday break. After losing to the host 74-59 on Dec. 26, they bounced back with a 77-33 win over Newfane the next day.

In the win, Kordell Holness erupted for 24 points, to go with dishing 4 assists. Kennedy scored 9 points and added 10 rebounds, 10 steals and 6 assists. Burse contributed 14 points and Kiernan Barnes and Chris Shriver, each notched 7 in the win.
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