By Indrek Kongats

The Varsity boys’ basketball team is on a roll! They’ve posted three impressive wins in a row against some stiff competition from Franklinville, Pine Valley and even North Collins, accumulating 15 sectional points and putting them in first place.

The recaps of the games are as follows:

On Jan. 4, away at Franklinville, the Eagles pulled out a 53-52 squeaker. The battle was between ECS’s Elliot Bowen, with 21 points and 20 rebounds, and Franklinville’s Sam Erickson, with 21 points and 10 rebounds.

On Jan. 6, ECS took on the Panthers from Pine Valley at home and won by an impressive score of 83-65. Another great game came from Bowen, with 28 points and 19 rebounds, followed by Griffin Chudy and Austin Grinols with 18 points and 13 points, respectively, also adding nine assists each.

In the most recent game this past Tuesday night at home, the Eagles made short work of the Eagles from North Collins 75-60. Once again, Bowen soared even higher with 34 points and 18 rebounds, followed once again by Chudy with 18 points, seven assists and eight rebounds and Grinols’ 10 points, five assists and three rebounds.

The Lady Eagles played at home on Monday, Jan. 9, demolishing the Eagles from North Collins 77-16 in their first sectional league game, earning five points. The ladies are still undefeated, pushing their record to 9-0 with the latest win over North Collins. Scoring for Ellicottville was very evenly distributed between five players in double digits, led by Linnea Jimerson’s 15 points.

The next home games for both Vvarsity teams are: girls, Jan. 19 against Forestville, followed the next day against Pine Valley; both games are at 7:30 p.m. Boys take on Cattaraugus on Jan. 18, also at 7:30 pm.

In Division I NCAA action, St. Bonaventure University men’s program has climbed to 10-5 overall, 2-1 in conference play. Their last home game was against George Mason, who they defeated by a score of 82-72. The men go on the road for three games, returning home on Jan. 24 and taking on Saint Joseph’s at 7 p.m., the game to be televised on the American Sports Network.

The struggling ladies  team is sitting at 6-10 overall and only 1-3 in conference play, dropping their last three games. They play next at home on Jan. 15 against Fordham and then again on the 21st against Duquesne. Game times are 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., respectively. Mckenna Maycock still leads the time in rebounding which is very impressive not only because she is a guard, but also because she comes in off the bench. In their latest game in a loss to Virginia, 61-52, Maycock grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked two shots!

In Division III NCAA action, the Hilbert Hawks men’s basketball team made the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg Bobcats wish they had stayed at home and in bed. Panama High School star Josh Eddy had his best game to date with nine points, four rebounds, two assists, one block and one steal in the104-62 victory. The men are 7-6 overall and 4-3 in conference play. Their next home game is on Jan. 21 at the Hafner Center; game time is 3 p.m. The Hawks take on Penn State Altoona, who they lost to earlier on in the season by one point. Be on hand for this exciting rematch and you can’t beat the admission price—it’s free!

Player development tip this week is to visualize your shot going into the basket. It doesn’t matter whether you are shooting free throws, or three- pointers; if in your mind you can picture the shot going in, your percentage will go up. Here is how it works: studies have proven that if you just visualize a shot going in in your mind, without even physically practicing the shot itself, you will become a better shooter.

A study conducted by Dr. Biasiotto at the University of Chicago was done where he split people into three groups and tested each group on how many free throws they could make. After this, he had the first group practice free throws every day for an hour. The second group just visualized themselves making free throws. The third group did nothing. After 30 days, he tested them again. The first group improved by 24 percent. The second group improved by 23 percent without touching a basketball. The third group did not improve, which was expected.

So when you are lying in bed, count your baskets instead of sheep to fall asleep!