By Ted Waddell
HANCOCK January 16, 2007 The Yellowjackets of Eldred grabbed their first victory of the 2006-2007 basketball season on Friday night by defeating the home team Family Foundation School Falcons, 55-38, in “The Falcon’s Nest.”
Eldred clipped the Falcons’ wings in every quarter: 17-14, 17-7, 15-12 and 6-5 during the Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division VI contest.
The second period proved to be pivotal, as Eldred (1-8 overall, 1-3 Division VI) outpaced the home team by 10 points (17-7) on the way to taking a 34-21 lead at halftime.
At 5:58 in the second quarter, The Family School’s Andreas Petrou tied it up at 21-21 by stealing the ball and making a basket.
Double-digit scorers for The Family School (3-8, 2-2 Division VI) included Petrou, who netted 11 points, and Paul Sullivan, who had 10 points.
A trio of Eldred players reached double digits in the scoring column. John Scully led the way with a game-high 15 points, Kojo Williams recorded 13 points and Chris Leader added 12 points.
“We were right there with them in the first half,” Family School Coach Ted Towsley said. “Our defense was good, but we didn’t run the offense like we needed to run it.
“Eldred kept after it and didn’t quit,” he added. “We were able to outrebound them, but we made a lot of turnovers and threw the ball away to them.”
Towsley singled out the play of Alan Thompson.
“He turned it up a notch in the second half,” he said of The Family’s School’s 18-year-old senior hoopster.
Thompson’s take on the game?
“The guys really hung in there down the stretch, and no one gave up,” he said. “That’s part of what they teach us here at The Family School not to give up.”
Charlie Donnelly, veteran coach of Eldred’s boys’ basketball program, said of their first win of the year, “I feel pretty happy about it. We’ve been getting closer every week, and this time we got it.
“In the first half, they played together very well, [but] in the second half we got a little too eager and made some unforced turnovers, and The Family School stepped up their defense,” he added.
Donnelly credited the Falcons with continuing their tradition of playing for keeps in the second half.
“We got beat bad on the boards,” he said. “We lost our boxing out form in the second half.”
A couple of Yellowjackets shared their thoughts after winning their first game of the year.
“It was a really hard game, and we have a lot of work to do,” said Williams, a 17-year-old junior.
“I’m proud that we won,” he said. “Family’s a good team, they came to play, but we just played a little harder.”
Leader is a 16-year-old junior.
“I thought we played hard, but we didn’t box out like we were supposed to,” he said.
“We’ve got to practice hard and play hard,” Leader added. “Hopefully we’ll be there one day, but it takes time.”