FALCONER - With about a month remaining in the regular season, the Southwestern Trojans are battling injuries and are admittedly still a work in progress, according to Coach Andrew Krenzer.
''But that's OK,'' he said, ''because we have a whole month to go. We want to be playing well in February. That's our goal. We're not there yet, although we made a major step tonight.''
Leave it to Alek Peck and Kyle Radack to help the Trojans put their best foot forward.
Southwestern’s Kyle Moran goes in for a layup during Tuesday night’s Division 1 boys basketball game at Falconer. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J photo by Scott Kindberg
The senior ball-hawking guards combined for 39 points and were instrumental in forcing 20 turnovers, leading Southwestern to a 63-48 victory over rival Falconer in a Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association Division 1 basketball game Tuesday night.
A 13-2 run during the closing minutes of the first half broke open a close contest and the Trojans weren't seriously challenged after intermission, raising their record to 7-4 overall and 4-2 in the division.
''We knew coming in that (Peck and Radack) were the guys who could hurt us,'' Falconer coach Tim Anderson said. ''They attacked our 1-3-1 and our 2-3 (zones) pretty well and really got out in transition, and that's what killed us the most. Every time we turned the ball over they were ... getting layups.''
During that decisive surge, Radack scored seven straight points, and Peck, sophomore Patrick Mogenhan and junior Kyle Moran added two apiece, transforming the Trojans' 23-20 lead into a 36-27 advantage at the break.
Peck finished with a game-high 23 points and seven rebounds, while Radack added 16 points and eight assists.
''We've really been working on getting the two of them to work together to get their points,'' Krenzer said, ''and they're doing a better job of making that quick pass, (setting up) the give-and-go, and screening for each other within our sets.''
Their teammates on the low block have also been the beneficiaries of the guards' stellar play.
Senior Peter Trathen (10 rebounds) and juniors Nathan Schrope and Kyle Moran combined for 20 points, many of them after Peck and Radack penetrated, drew the defense to them and then dished the ball inside.
''I thought we had the advantage down low,'' Anderson said, ''but they hurt us on the boards and (the post players) were active when the two guards got into the lane.''
Falconer's quick start - it led, 16-14 after the first quarter - was fueled by junior center Mitch Carter, who scored 10 of his 18 points in the first eight minutes. But he picked up his second foul early in the second period and was forced to the bench for the balance of the half.
That's when Southwestern went on its decisive run.
''That killed us,'' Anderson said. ''We were breaking the press and getting the ball inside. As soon as he went out, that kind of went away.''
The loss dropped the Golden Falcons to 2-10 overall and 1-5 in the division. And, as has been the case most of the season, turnovers did them in.
''That's been our season to a T,'' Anderson said. ''We have one or two stretches in a game where we're throwing it all over the place and we give up that run and find it hard to score. That really has been the story.
''We've been in some games, but those stretches have just been killing us. We find it hard to scratch our way back into the game.''
Carter was the only Falconer player in double figures. Senior Devon Cameron and juniors Kyle Petersen and Nick Conti all had nine points. Conti entered the game averaging a team-high 16 points.
''Our goal was to stop Conti in transition,'' Krenzer said. ''We didn't want to give him any looks. ... We weren't looking for turnovers on it. It just happened that way.''
Greenlee 2 0 4, Rybicki 0 0 0, Peck 9 4 23, Moran 2 0 4, Trathen 3 1 7, Mogenhan 1 0 2, Radack 7 0 16, Schrope 3 1 7, Totals 27 6 63.
Petersen 4 0 9, Cameron 4 1 9, Wilcox 1 0 3, Conti 2 5 9, Carter 8 1 18, Carder 0 0 0, Totals 19 7 48.
3-point goals-Peck, Radack 2, Petersen, Wilcox, Carter.
Southwestern14 22 12 15 - 63
Falconer16 11 5 16 - 48
Jayvees: Southwestern 54, Falconer 21