By Rob Potter
ELDRED January 14, 2005 The Family School Falcons used their defense to create their offense Monday night in an Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division VI boys basketball game against the host Eldred Yellowjackets.
Employing a full-court press from the opening moments of the contest, the Falcons made several steals and caused many Yellowjacket turnovers. The Family School (5-4, 2-1 Division VI) grabbed a 6-0 lead just two-and-a-half minutes into the contest.
The Falcons gradually extended that lead over the next three periods of play to record a 67-43 victory over Eldred (2-5, 1-3 Division VI).
The Falcons aggressive full-court press led to several scoring opportunities on the other end of the floor. And the team converted many of those chances.
Leading the Falcons offense was guard Joe Kettle.
In the second quarter, Kettle netted 14 points as The Family School outscored Eldred by a 22-13 margin to take a 36-19 lead into the intermission. Kettle recorded eight points in the first quarter and added 12 more in the second half to finish the evening with a game-high 34 points.
Tom Gould recorded nine points for the Falcons and Jesse Penner and Mike Pruitt each added seven points.
Tyler King was Eldreds top scorer in the contest, finishing with 12 points. Ranne recorded nine points all of which came from a trio of successful 3-point shots. Michael Cleary had seven points and George Fountain contributed six points.
Although they were behind from the opening minute, the Yellowjackets kept competing and hustling throughout the game.
Early in the fourth quarter, Eldred put together a scoring rally. Down by 24 points entering that final period, Fountain converted both free throws after being fouled while attempting a shot in the lane. Twenty-four seconds later, at the 7:05 mark, Fountain scored inside to cut the Falcons lead to 20 points at 50-30.
Then at the 6:44 mark, Ranne connected on a 3-point shot to make it a 50-33 game. About 30 seconds later, Ranne swished another shot from beyond the 3-point arc to bring the Yellowjackets to within 14 points.
With 5:45 remaining, The Family Schools Shannon Lawson broke the Eldred scoring surge by making one of two foul shots.
But 30 seconds later, King scored while among a crowd of players underneath the Eldred basket to narrow the Falcons lead to 13 points (51-38).
However, The Family School responded with an 11-2 scoring run during the next three minutes to take a 62-40 advantage with 2:17 showing on the scoreboard clock.
Joe Kettle had an amazing game tonight, Family School Coach Ted Towsley said. It seemed like he could do no wrong, all of his shots were falling.
Towsley was also pleased with the Falcons defensive effort.
In the second quarter we kind of took over with our press, he said. Then in the third quarter we didnt have a let down, we kept our effort up and had a strong press.
The Falcons mentor also took note of how his team responded to Eldreds fourth-quarter comeback attempt.
They got it down to a 13-point game with four or five minutes left, but our guys were great, Towsley commented. Our team responded with some baskets. I was very pleased with the way our guys played tonight.
Eldred Coach Doug Reiser said that defense was the key to the game.
They defended us very well, he said of the Falcons. They did their homework. They came out and played very well.
Reiser also noted that his squad has developed a bad habit of relaxing for a quarter during a contest.
In every game this season we seem to relax for a quarter, he said. Tonight, we relaxed in the second quarter. Basically, we played two quarters and they played four quarters.