Connellsville clamps down on Indiana
Although Friday's game against Indiana was a nonsection affair, it may end up being the biggest game of the season for the Connellsville boys basketball team.
The Falcons put forth their best effort of the season in a 46-37 win over the Indians, a team that came into the game with 11 victories. It was also Connellsville's second win in a row.
“The guys are getting better,” Connellsville coach Dan Bosnic said.
After a slow start to the season, the Falcons are finally starting to get some desired results.
“For the most part, we put in a full-game effort against a good basketball team,” Bosnic said.
Connellsville was the stronger team inside and hit big outside shots. Defensively, Connellsville (4-11) held Indiana (11-4) without a basket until nearly six minutes had passed in the first quarter. The Indians also were held without a basket for the opening five minutes of the third quarter.
“We preach it (defense) to the boys, and they believe in it,” Bosnic said. “They're getting better, and because of that effort, we were successful.”
While the team excelled on defense, the offense came through in key situations. Each team struggled to find any offense early, but the Falcons got going behind clutch first-half 3-pointers from Jim Leichliter, Jade Maher and Mike Parlak. Leichliter, in particular, was impressive from the perimeter, hitting four treys and finishing with a team-high 16 points.
“Our kids all did a great job of going after the ball offensively, and Jim Leichliter hit some big shots for us,” Bosnic said.
Connellsville led, 21-16, at halftime and dominated the third quarter, outscoring the Indians, 19-6.
Trent Bauer, who had a quiet first half, hit two big shots in the paint to help Connellsville take a 40-22 lead.
The Indians' best offensive push came in the fourth quarter as Riley Stapleton tried to bring his team back. Stapleton, who scored a game-high 18 points, tallied 10 points in the final frame, including a 3-pointer that cut Connellsville's lead to 44-34 with three minutes to go.
“We cut it to 10, but the bottom line is we have to put the ball in the basket,” Indiana coach Greg Lezanic said. “It was an extremely physical game, and for the first three quarters, we didn't match their physicality. We only gave up 46 points, but you're not going to win many games scoring 37. We knew we would struggle with the man-to-man, and they made some shots. We just have to wipe it from our memory banks and get ready for section games next week.”
Bauer, who finished with 10 points, hit two big baskets in the fourth quarter to help Connellsville hold off Indiana's charge. Maher also was clutch with two free throws on his way to a nine-point night.
Connellsville will play another nonsection game Saturday at home against Ringgold, and the Falcons will no doubt be looking to build on the previous night's performance.
“(Indiana) is one of the top teams in AAA, but I think we played good basketball and I'm definitely excited about it,” Bosnic said.
Jason Black is the Local Sports Editor of the Daily Courier. He can be reached at email@example.com.
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.