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Rob Potter | Democrat

The Family School’s Kevin Gary (1) attempts a layup as Eldred’s Chas Wolff defends in the first quarter of Wednesday night’s game.

Family School Falcons defeat Eldred, 66-56

By Rob Potter
ELDRED — January 21, 2011 — With the score even at 30-30, the visiting Family School Falcons and Eldred Yellowjackets headed to their respective lockerrooms at halftime of Wednesday night’s non-league basketball game.
But the Falcons seized momentum and the lead by outscoring Eldred 19-11 in the third quarter.
The Family School maintained its advantage during the fourth period for a 66-56 victory.
The Family School’s Joe Plonski scored after grabbing an offensive rebound to give his team a 34-32 lead 20 seconds into the third period.
Less than a minute later, Chris Pitcher answered for Eldred to knot the score at 34-34.
But DeMarques Williams scored three points as the Falcons went on a 7-0 run to move ahead 39-32 with 5:21 to go in the period.
The Family School (7-2) pushed its advantage into double digits at 53-41 early in the fourth quarter as Owen Daugherty and Plonski scored consecutive baskets.
The Falcons took their biggest lead of the game at 60-45 when Steve Eckert made a jump shot with 4:00 remaining in the game.
For the rest of the game, the Falcons made 6 of 10 free throws to maintain their advantage. With 27 seconds to go, Patrick Reiser swished a 3-point shot to bring the Yellowjackets to within 10 points at 66-56, but that was the last basket of the game.
Eldred (4-5) used a 11-2 run during the second quarter to take a 28-19 lead. Pitcher capped the run with a 3-point shot with 3:51 to go.
But the Falcons rallied to take a 30-28 advantage when Kevin Gary scored with 1:05 left in the quarter.
Reiser answered with a basket with 23 seconds to go to even the score at the intermission.
Family School Coach Larry Patrisso noted that his team’s play on defense made the difference in the game. He credited that to his players and a suggestion by Assistant Coach Shane Mielke at halftime.
“Our defense in the second half was 10 times better than in the first half,” Patrisso said. “Our half-court help defense really worked well. We had 15 steals in the game.”
Patrisso pointed out that the only two losses his team has so far this season occurred during a December tournament in Forest City, Pa.
“It was good to get a win against a Class C school,” he said.
In addition to the Yellowjackets, The Family School has also recorded victories over Class C schools Fallsburg and Tri-Valley among its seven wins in New York State.
Three Falcons scored in double digits to lead the team to victory. Plonski had 15 points, Williams netted 14 points and Eckert recorded 13 points.
Plonski and Williams each had seven rebounds.
Daugherty and Gary added nine points and eight points, respectively, for The Family School.
Pitcher paced the Yellowjackets with 14 points. Nick Mehedin had 13 points and Reiser and P.J. Collins each netted 10 points.
“I thought our half-court defense was good, but we gave up too many baskets in transition,” Eldred Coach J.J. Gass said. “There were times when we would miss a shot and they would go right down the court and score, which is a four-point swing. There were a lot of four-point swings tonight and that hurt us.”
The Yellowjackets will look to even their season record when they visit Roscoe tonight for a non-league game. Next week, Eldred is slated to play three games: an Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Div. V game against Fallsburg on Monday night and non-league games against Livingston Manor on Wednesday night and Tuxedo on Friday night.

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