By Rob Potter
FALLSBURG The Chapel Field Lions took an early lead against the host Fallsburg Comets in Wednesday night’s non-league basketball game.
Chapel Field sprinted out to a double-digit lead in the first quarter on its way to a 56-41 victory.
Senior forward Jesse Capalbo made a 3-pointer with 1:39 to go in the opening period to give the Lions a 14-4 advantage.
At the 6:02 mark of the second quarter, Fallsburg (7-4) closed to within three at 19-16 as senior guard Rodrick Cash scored after grabbing an offensive rebound.
But Chapel Field (5-4) responded with a 13-0 scoring run to close out the half.
The Lions gradually extended their lead in the third period.
Despite outscoring Chapel Field by a 19-6 margin in the fourth quarter, the Comets could not rally from their early deficit.
Leading the Lions to the victory were seniors Danny Melendez and Dustin Vellenga, who scored 20 points and 12 points, respectively.
Capalbo and Luke Solomon added seven points apiece for Chapel Field.
“This was a good win for us,” Chapel Field Coach Joe Canazon said. “Our rebounding was good and our full-court press helped us get into an offensive flow. It was the first time all season we played well in all areas of the game.”
Canazon was also pleased that his team only made a few turnovers in the contest.
Senior forward Danny Seletsky scored a game-high 21 points for the Comets, while teammates Dustin Foertsch and Cash had nine points, and four points, respectively.
“Their press caused a lot of turnovers,” Fallsburg Coach Pete Dworetsky said. “We played well in the first quarter and in the fourth quarter, but the second and third quarters is when their press really hurt us.”
Looking at the rest of the season, Dworetsky noted that the Comets have seven games left, five of which are against Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division V opponents.
“Our goal is to make sectionals,” he said. “We have seven wins, we need two more to make sectionals.
“My guys worked hard tonight,” Dworetsky added. “They played with a lot of heart and determination and that’s all I can ask of them.”