COPLEY TWP.: So far, so good for Green’s boys basketball fortunes in the young season.
Perfect, in fact, through its first four games after another impressive effort in a 71-58 Suburban League victory over host Copley on Friday night.
The Bulldogs fed the ball to its big pair of forwards early and often, and Copley had few answers for stopping them as they combined for 45 points.
Green (4-0, 3-0) never trailed, persevered through some early trouble against the Indians’ full-court pressure, and led by as many as 23 points in the second half.
“The second quarter was the big key for us to win the game tonight, when we withstood their run,” Green coach Mark Kinsley said. “Copley was speeding us up and trying to make us play faster than we wanted to. Once we kind of slowed down and started passing the ball instead of dribbling, we were able to beat the pressure.”
Josh Pritchard and Dan Fanelly, both seniors, were the difference. The 6-foot-8 Pritchard scored a game-high 24 points with 10 rebounds, and 6-6 Fanelly had 21 points and led everybody with 14 rebounds.
Both showed scoring ability from outside as well, and seldom missed when they put it up. Pritchard made 10-of-14 shots, including two 3-pointers, and Fanelly went 8-of-11 with one from long distance.
Sophomore 6-2 guard Austin Marciniak added 13 points and nine rebounds.
“Defensively we played real solid,” Fanelly said. “And with the defense, we got our opportunities on the offensive end. We started pushing the ball real well and got some open shots for everybody. It was great to see.”
After starting the game in man-to-man, the Bulldogs quickly went to a zone and the Indians were unable to penetrate or make many outside shots.
“We’re primarily a man team but we thought tonight we were going to have to play a little more zone,” Kinsley said. “We have some size and obviously we had to make them prove they could consistently make jump shots, and I thought we did a pretty good job of rebounding out of it.”
Copley (1-4, 1-2) made just 10-of-31 shots in the first half. The Bulldogs jumped out to a 14-2 lead before Copley went to the press and climbed back in the game. Copley’s DeAire Andrew hit a jumper at the start of the second quarter, cutting the deficit to 16-15, but a 12-2 Green run made it 28-15 midway through the quarter. The Indians never got closer than eight after that.
Green led 35-24 at the half. Eight points in a row by Fanelly early in the second half made it 45-30, and it was 57-39 after three quarters.
The Bulldogs were ahead 71-48 when they cleared the bench, and Copley scored the last 10 points to make the final margin somewhat deceiving.
“We just had to get past their pressure,” Pritchard said. “Our guards handled the ball pretty well. Just got the ball and shot a lot of layups. Team effort.”
Jayln Tyler, a 6-3 senior, led Copley with 14 points and junior Desmond Hodoh had 10 off the bench. Kenny Paramore, usually the Indians’ top gun, was held to seven.
“Unfortunately we struggled shooting tonight and they shot extremely well,” Copley coach Mark Dente said. “That was the difference in the game. Green’s a great program and they’re well coached and if you’re not ready to play them, the result’s going to be like it was tonight.”
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