By Lori Brown
FALLSBURG If defense wins championships, then Fallsburg boys’ basketball team is headed in the right direction. The Comets clamped down on Tri-Valley Thursday night 61-39 in a Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division V basketball game.
For the season, Fallsburg is letting up just over 50 points per game, a stingy amount that is always on coach Pete Dworetsky’s radar.
“Now it is about making sure our defense is great, to get turnovers,” Dworetsky said in reference to the league season getting into full swing. “Braiden DeGraw did a great job. Dustin [Foertsch] played great defense. I am most proud of the way Rakkir [Watson] played today. We applied today what we did in practice. We put pressure on the guards. Overall, I am happy with our effort, attitude and decision making.
With the win, the Comets improved their record to 6-2 overall and 3-1 in Division V.
“We are in second place [in the division] right now,” Fallsburg Coach Pete Dworetsky said. “Our two black eyes [or losses] were from Walton and Seward.
Fallsburg’s Michael Robinson scored nine points in the final quarter to help his team turn a 42-31 lead at the end of the third period into a comfortable 22-point victory.
In addition to its snug defense, Fallsburg also benefited from Tri-Valley’s dreadful 4-18 free throw shooting, including missing all eight attempts in the final quarter. Conversely, the Comets went 10 for 15 at the line.
“We got hurt at the foul line today,” T-V Coach Brian Tingley said. “Seventy percent [at the line] would have been nice.
Early in the first quarter, Greg Swarthout netted six points to help Tri-Valley take an 8-4 advantage. But with just under three minutes left in the period, Fallsburg went on an 8-0 scoring run.
T-V (4-5, 2-2 Div. V) outscored Fallsburg 14-13 in the third quarter, but could not draw closer in the final eight minutes.
Three Fallsburg players finished in double figures. Rakkir Watson scored a game-high 16 points, Michael Robinson had 15 points and Foertsch netted 10 points.
T-V’s top scorers were James Pugh with 11 points and Greg Swarthout with 10 points.
“Steven McInerney did a great job defending Michael Robinson,” Tingley noted. “He played a really great game. Greg [Swarthout] set the tone early for us.
Tingley added that “we are looking to just get into sectionals this year.”