By Fred Stabbert III
LAKE HUNTINGTON The Sullivan West Bulldogs may have saved their best game of the season for last as they battled a talented and disciplined Spackenkill team to the last minute, before losing 68-60 on Monday night.
With the loss, which came in a Section IX Class B quarterfinal game, the Bulldogs’ ended their season with a 12-7 record.
“I thought we played very well,” Sullivan West Coach Bruce Nober said. “Possibly our best game of the year.”
The Bulldogs started fast as point guard John Masten popped in six first quarter points and six second quarter points to keep his team close, 41-35 at the half.
It was Sullivan West’s run-and-gun style and finishing baskets which caught Nober’s attention.
“We came out with a lot of energy and were running the floor well, giving us some easy looks,” Nober said. “I was kind of worried because we hadn’t been playing well.”
The Bulldogs were bolstered by their “Dawg Pound,” a group of 150 loud students, and a large adult contingent.
“It was a great atmosphere,” Nober said. “We’ve had a few of those [loud games] this year.”
But during the third quarter the Bulldogs turned cold, scoring just eight points as Spackenkill methodically ran its pick and roll offense to net 12 points, many of them on layups.
“They are well coached… and they didn’t miss,” Nober said. “We just cooled off.”
The Bulldogs, who have rallied several times this season to win close games in the fourth quarter, again tried to pull off a comeback.
Using full court pressure and some clutch shooting, Sullivan West cut a 12-point deficit in half with just a minute left.
After forcing a Spackenkill turnover Sullivan West came downcourt with a chance to cut the lead to just three points, but they failed to get off a shot and Spackenkill was able to run out the clock.
“It was a positive year,” Nober recapped the season. “We sent the seniors off with a winning season and they tried to carry us (during our final game).”
Seniors Masten (15 points), E.J. Franskevicz (13 points with three 3s), Matt Cardona (six points), and Andrew Parsons (four points) all played well.
Sophomore Patrick Pierce, fighting a shin split, scored 10 point, including three 3s. Junior Sawyer Erlwein also scored 10 points for the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs shot 3-6 from the free-throw line while Spackenkill went 11-18.
Leading the Spartans were Josh Riley, who had 17 points and 10 rebounds, Andrew Michos with 13 points and Derek Lo, who had 12 points and 10 boards.
Jimmy Kruk also had six points to go along with nine assists.