By Rob Potter
ELDRED December 7, 2007 The S.S. Seward boys’ basketball team got off to a quick start on Tuesday night.
Seward grabbed an 8-2 lead against the host Eldred Yellowjackets in the first three minutes of their non-league game.
The Spartans steadily increased their lead for the rest of the period and in the second quarter as well. They scored in a variety of ways: converting layups after making a steal, hitting jump shots from around the perimeter, scoring underneath the basket and swishing foul shots.
As a result, Seward (2-1) enjoyed a 38-12 lead at halftime. The Spartans ended up posting a 71-40 victory over Eldred (0-1).
“I’m really pleased, this is the kind of game I have been looking for us to play,” Seward Coach Rob Gravelle said. “We played very well tonight. We took the lead in the first quarter and that was important.”
While praising his own players, Gravelle also spoke positively of the Yellowjackets.
“Eldred’s a little short-handed right now,” he said. “I am sure they will be a different team when we play them again in January. Eldred is only going to get better.”
Leading the Spartans to victory was Kevin Papageorge, who had a game-high 16 points.
Also contributing to Seward’s balanced scoring attack were Sadam Sahmanovic (11 points), Jeremy Harter (10 points) and Nick Guerra (seven points).
John Scully paced the Yellowjackets with 12 points. Jason Jennings and Rik Dilles added 10 points and six points, respectively, for Eldred.
“In the first half, we played like a team that had not played a game yet this season,” Eldred Coach Charlie Donnelly said. “We played much better in the second half. We took a really positive step in the third quarter because we played against their starting five in that quarter and they only outscored us 20 to 18.
“I am very pleased with my players’ attitude and effort tonight,” he added. “They all worked hard.”
The veteran coach also praised Gravelle for handling the game so well since the Spartans held a large lead for much of the evening.
“Florida [Seward] showed great class, hard work and was very gracious in victory,” Donnelly said.