By Matt Parrino
The Tonawanda News
Tonawanda News — The St. Joe's boys basketball team knows its identity and every time the Marauders step onto the court they don't try to be anything but themselves.
That philosophy helped coach Mark Simon's squad improve to 8-1 on Friday night in a 85-58 blowout victory over Cheektowaga in the championship game of the St. Joe's holiday tournament.
Simon said when the Marauders (8-1) get out in transition and look to score in the paint they're a tough team to beat.
"We were able to get some transition going," he said. "On offense we really attacked the basket instead of settling for jump shots. When we did that we were good and once in a while we'd get stubborn and somebody would want to shoot from three or 15 feet, but every time we put it on the floor and drove to the basket we got easy baskets."
Junior forward Justin Hollins earned tournament MVP honors after scoring a game-high 22 points against the Warriors. He also grabbed six rebounds and was especially effective on the offensive boards.
Simon was thrilled with Hollins' play and said when you combine his athletic ability and willingness to do the little things, only good things are bound to happen.
"He's such a tremendous athlete and tonight you could see what he can do on the boards," Simon said. "He's got great leaping ability and timing. Guys that want to run and get from end to end quickly are going to get baskets. He wants to do that."
Hollins was proud of the way his team competed and ran the floor for 32 minutes.
"We played good and we did good in transition and got a bunch of points," Hollins said. "I just go hard every play and try to get the ball into the lane and get two points. We got a good record."
St. Joe's seniors Jordan Glover and Mark Cerza were named to the All-Tournament team for their efforts on Thursday and Friday. Glover scored five points, recorded eight assists and two steals and Cerza added 10 points and eight rebounds against Cheektowaga.
Glover was on target all night, finding teammates all over the court and even putting the ball in tight gaps to create basket opportunities for others. Dylan Hall scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Louis Oliveri scored 12 points and had seven rebounds, and his toughness and hustle created several second-chance points for St. joe's throughout the game.
Dominick Welch led the Warriors with 17 points and Preston Summers and Zak Ciezki each chipped in with 14 points, respectively.Contact Sports Editor Matt Parrino at 693-1000 ext 4117 and find Tonawanda News sports on Twitter @tonanewssports.