Weekly Feature

2017-01-19 / Sports

Fourth-quarter efforts not enough to push East boys hoops to victory


West Seneca East’s boys basketball team needed three quarters to find its rhythm in its recent games against Amherst and Sweet Home, but that didn’t leave enough time for the Trojans to be able to contend for the victory as they dropped both contests to fall to 6-6 on the year.

“We’ve really got to find a way to be consistent for four quarters, especially at the defensive end of the floor,” coach Dan Lutman said. “If we can do that, a lot of good things can happen.”

East actually was in contention for the win early in Jan. 7’s clash with Amherst, leading 24-20 at the half before the Tigers went on a 19-10 run over the course of the third quarter to take a 39-34 into the final stanza. The Trojans refused to go away down the stretch, cutting the deficit down to four points before Amherst got some breakaway layups and made some free throws late to seal the 65-54 decision.

“It was a pretty good game, a physical game right from the start, and I think we showed that we could play with them,” Lutman said. “We just had a little bit of a defensive letdown in the second half and that led to a lot of second- and third-chance points because we didn’t do a good enough job of rebounding the ball.

“We had our chances late in the game — the game was much closer than the score would indicate — but we just weren’t consistent enough.”

Zamari Mitchell led the way offensively for East with 20 points, while Dominic Farszmil added 16 points.

The Trojans put together an even more impressive fourth-quarter effort in its 75-66 loss to Sweet Home on Jan. 10, scoring more points — 35 — in that frame than they did in the first three quarters combined. But even that Herculean effort, which led to a 10-point advantage for the frame for East, wasn’t enough to make up for the Panthers’ earlier dominance.

“We just came out sluggish offensively in the first half, even after we forced some turnovers that led to chances in transition,” Lutman said. “We just couldn’t finish those chances. And then we had a sluggish third quarter again where we gave up too many easy baskets. We just let them run their offense to get whatever they wanted.

“It was the story of our season again; we turned it on in the fourth quarter, and then we just ran out of time a little bit,” Lutman continued. “We scored almost as many points in the fourth quarter off our defensive intensity and passion as we did the other three quarters combined.”

Chris Stineman guided East’s attack with 19 points and 12 rebounds, while Mitchell and Anthony Roncone added 14 points each.

East (2-3 ECIC II) returned to action Tuesday against Hamburg, but information about that contest was not available at press time. The Trojans close out their busy week by traveling to Iroquois this evening and Hamburg Friday, but then won’t play again until they travel to Williamsville East on Thursday, Feb. 2.

“This is a big week for us in terms of our playoff seeding,” Lutman said. “We’ve had about a week off from game play going into Tuesday’s game with Hamburg, so we’ve been really focused in practice on our defensive pressure creating chaos and making our opponent uncomfortable when they’re on offense. We’re beating ourselves with our lack of consistency, so we’re really working hard to turn that around.”

email: jnadolinski@beenews.com

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