By Fred Stabbert III
PORT JERVIS “We’re rolling pretty good right now,” Sullivan West Bulldog Head Coach Bruce Nober said following his team’s second straight win over a Class A school the latest one in convincing fashion.
The Bulldogs used tenacious defense and smart shooting to whip the Port Jervis Red Raiders, 58-41 on Wednesday night at the Ed and Lou Banach Sports Arena.
The win evened the Bulldogs record at 3-3 this season and helped to build momentum as they head into next year’s conference schedule. Sullivan West recorded only one victory all of last season.
“We’re playing well right now,” Nober said. “And we’re feeding the hot hand.”
That would be Matt Cardona, who finished last week’s game with five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to sink Monticello and started Wednesday’s game with a trio of 3-pointers.
Cardona finished the night with 22 points, hitting reverse layups, fast break alley-oops and five 3-pointers.
After a deadlocked first quarter in which each team was measuring up the other, Sullivan West found its opening defensively limiting Port to just five second quarter points. Sawyer Erlwein (eight points) and E.J. Franskevicz (10 points) both popped in 3-pointers before the horn sounded to give the Bulldogs a 28-20 halftime lead.
Erlwein pumped in another 3-point shot early in the third quarter as the Bulldogs began to pull away, 36-23.
“We stepped up our defense in both the third and fourth quarters,” Nober said. “In the first two quarters it [defense] could have been better.
“We need to turn it up another notch,” he said about the defensive end of the floor.
But Nober was pleased with his club’s effort on offense.
“We try and get the ball inside to either Patrick [Pierce] or Andrew [Parsons],” he said. noting that the big guys can either use their size advantage to score, or if double-teamed, kick the ball outside to shooters Cardona and Erlwein.
Parsons, who hit five wide open layups, finished the night with 18 points and he and the 6’6” Pierce handled the majority of the rebounding effort for the Bulldogs.
Sullivan West has next week off and returns to play January 4 against Tri-Valley in a non-league game at Lake Huntington.