Fast start leads ACS past Devils
By Julia Green
The Andes boys posted a convincing 73-27 win over the visiting Blue Devils of Margaretville on Friday night, in a game that was rescheduled from the night before. The Mountaineers jumped out to an early lead, outscoring the Blue Devils 20-4 in the opening quarter.
“I felt we played assertively and offensively we moved the ball really well, took good shots, and did everything with an intelligent basketball sense Friday night,” said Andes Head Coach John Bernhardt.
“My team is just such a complexity because one night they’ll play very well and the next night they play very poorly. At Jefferson three days before that, we were horrid and we didn’t do anything well: we didn’t move the ball at all, we took every shot off the first or second pass, and our shot selection was poor, and then against Margaretville, it was completely the opposite,” Bernhardt stated. “In the first half all of our shots were around the basket, we moved the ball four or five passes to whomever was open. I just wish I could put my finger on it so I could help them repeat that on a nightly basis.”
Andes kept the pressure on in the second quarter, adding 28 points and limiting Margaretville to six to take a 48-10 lead into halftime.
“We wanted to go out in the second half and try to work on some things,” Bernhardt said. “There’s a zone defense we haven’t been good at this year, and we attempted to work on that in the second half.”
Junior Eric Reed led the Mountaineers with 26 points, 11 rebounds and six assists, while James Litaker added 14 points and Peter Fabrykiewicz tallied 12.
“Eric had a marvelous game,” Bernhardt said. “He has a good basketball talent, and I’ve been trying to get him to establish himself going forward toward the basket early in the game, and the other night he did it. He penetrated hard, he got inside shots, and I think he was four-for-four in the first quarter from around the hole. And you make everyone else better when you do that; he opened up passing lanes as the defense reacted to his forward motion.”
Bernhardt was also pleased with the effort made by Litaker, whose effort around the basket was key for the Mountaineers.
“He’s got great inside post movies, and when James posts low in general, he generally has a high percentage opportunity,” he said. “The other night with Eric penetrating particularly early and as the defense shifted, we were just dumping the ball to James, and he did a nice job on the offensive boards, too.”
The scoring cooled somewhat in the second half, with the Mountaineers tallying 12 and 13 points in the third and fourth quarters, respectively; Margaretville added 11 points in the third quarter and six in the fourth.
With the win, the Mountaineers moved to 7-6 overall and 5-6 in league play; they will face the host Eagles of Downsville at 5 p.m. tonight and will host the visiting JayHawks of Jefferson at 5:30 p.m. on Friday. Andes will wrap up the regular season with games against Gilboa and Roxbury next week.
“Until the Jefferson game, I was kind of optimistic that we were playing a little more consistently, and that game kind of threw my equilibrium off because it seemed like we were back to where we’d been earlier in the season mentally,” Bernhard said. “And you’re kind of hoping as you go into sectionals, if we go to sectionals, that you’re getting into a stride, and I thought we were. That’s where I would like to get back to in these four games. I’d like to see us play focused and assertive defensively and competitively in all four games.”
Margaretville’s Mitch Vankeuren led the Blue Devils with seven points, while Danny Jenkins and Andre Smith each added five. The Blue Devils will play the host Indians of Stamford tonight at 7 p.m.