FALLSBURG – Basketball and chess share many elements. For example, knowing your opponents pieces and strategies are the first step to stopping them. For the Comets on Tuesday night, controlling …
FALLSBURG – Basketball and chess share many elements. For example, knowing your opponents pieces and strategies are the first step to stopping them. For the Comets on Tuesday night, controlling the tempo and deploying their tenacious defense to meet Eldred’s Trai Kaufmann at half court was the key to keeping the Yellowjackets in check.
Fallsburg got after it early, jumping out to a 19-8 lead by the end of the first quarter. By keeping Kaufmann tied up with two defenders, the ball was forced inside and it led to many Eldred turnovers and missed opportunities throughout the first half.
Eldred had their fair share of scoring opportunities, but struggled to convert for most of the game. The Yellowjackets also did not have an answer for Fallsburg senior Eugene Johnson, who scored 31 points in the first three quarters of the game.
By halftime, the Comets led 40-17 and Johnson had accumulated 23 points. Carlos Alvarado, Fallsburg’s second highest scorer on Tuesday, added 12 of his 15 points in the first half.
In the third quarter, Fallsburg continued to keep their foot on the gas. They outscored the Yellowjackets 19-4 and extended their lead to 59-21.
The big change in the third quarter was closing off the passing lane after trapping Kaufmann at half court. Instead of giving him an open look to the free throw line, they began jumping into the lane, stealing the ball and storming up the court for easy transition buckets.
In the fourth quarter, Fallsburg rested their starters and still managed to win the quarter 13-12. A wire-to-wire victory for Fallsburg.
“We say that he [Trai Kaufmann] was their only ball handler tonight,” Fallsburg Coach Lionel White said after the win. “We wanted to work on our transition offense and force teams to play at a faster pace.”
Despite the big win, White still sees things that the team has to work on. “I love how we play together, but we have to do better with fouling. If we keep growing we should become a better team.”
Bill Furler was proud of his team’s effort. “We fought hard tonight. We missed a lot of shots, and I don’t think the score reflects the game. They had easy baskets and made them, we didn’t.”
Fallsburg defeated Tri-Valley on Wednesday night and are hosting Liberty on Tuesday. Eldred was scheduled to host Roscoe yesterday but the game was postponed due to weather.
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