Williamsville South overcomes rival Amherst to reclaim sectional crown

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — “It’s a great day to be a Bille,” coach Mike Trzybinski exclaimed with a mix of joy, appreciation, relief and affirmed belief Friday night after his Williamsville South boys basketball came back to beat Amherst in the Section VI Class A1 final at Buffalo State Sports Arena.

Having lost the past seven matchups with their Main Street rivals, including last year’s A2 final by one basket, the Billies broke through with an inspiring rally in the middle quarters and excellent execution down the stretch to win 76-71 and secure the school’s first sectional title since 2016.

“We had this dream the whole season,” said sophomore guard Nate Wilemski, who scored 20 of his career-high 25 points in the second half. “At the beginning of the season, we had these cards we wrote down our goals. This was the main one. We made it happen, and it’s a great feeling.”

Wilemski made a single free throw in the regular season meeting Amherst won 65-56. In the playoff rematch, the slinky guard sank six down the stretch as the Billies went 16 for 16 from the line ward off a late charge from the defending champions.

“It shows how much we’ve grown as a team and as individual players,” Wilemski said. “It was hard. It wasn’t easy. But it was expected.”

Trzybinski, in his sixth season on the Billies bench, was proudly amazed by his team’s perfect foul shooting in a pressure-packed atmosphere.

“To step up in the pinnacle, the Madison Square Garden of Western New York basketball, I can’t say enough,” Trzybinski said. “It’s the clutch gene.”

Wilemski scored 12 of his points during a third quarter when Williamsville South flipped 36-31 deficit into a 52-47 advantage when Wilemski fed Carter Lampke for a long 3-pointer at the third quarter horn.

“He’s such a goofy kid,” the coach said about Wilemski. “But he’s a killer. He loves to play.”


Jonah Bronstein joined the WIVB squad in 2022 as a digital sports reporter. The Buffalonian has covered the Bills, Sabres, Bandits, Bisons, colleges, high schools and other notable sporting events in Western New York since 2005, for publications including The Associated Press, The Buffalo News, and Niagara Gazette. Read more of his work here.

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