Bulldogs bounce back behind defense to down Pirates

By A.J. Atkinson | Correspondent Published:

By A.J. Atkinson | Correspondent

After a 65-44 loss to Mogadore and a 66-57 loss to Garfield last week, Woodridge coach Brian Fantone looked at ways to limit opponents' scoring rather than trying to find more ways for his Bulldogs to score.

The work paid off as Woodridge's defense held the Southeast Pirates to only 37 points in a 47-37 win.

Woodridge improved to 7-8 overall and 5-6 in the PTC County Division, while the loss dropped Southeast to 9-7 overall and 7-4 in the County Division.

"I'm really proud of our defense," Fantone said. "Every guy put up good defense. I don't think (Southeast) took an unguarded shot tonight."

Fantone said scoring, which he considers more of a skill, has been a problem for the Bulldogs all year. But when he saw his team playing poor defense against Garfield, something he believes simply takes effort and enthusiasm, he knew Woodridge's mentality had to change.

Fantone said what he saw from every player on defense at Southeast made him proud. He was very impressed to see the momentum was not deterred when he substituted.

"To have the luxury of putting in a bench player and knowing we're not falling behind defensively is a great advantage," Fantone said.

The Bulldogs limited the Pirates to just three scorers. Southeast starters Jordan Krych and Trevor Norquest scored 16 and 17 points, respectively, while Lucas Bloom came off the bench to add four.

"We often have six or seven guys score three to five points alongside Jordan and my 16 and 17 points," Norquest said. "When we have teams shut all those other guys out like Woodridge did tonight, it's tough to win games."

Norquest said losing their fourth league game deflated the Pirates, who only lost three league games all last season when they won the league.

Southeast coach Matt Dillon made it very short and clear what he thought was the reason for the Pirates' loss.

"When you have no effort, no enthusiasm, you lose basketball games," Dillon said before returning to the locker room.

At the end of the first three quarters, Woodridge led by three points before pulling away in the fourth quarter.

As the Bulldogs defense held the Pirates to just seven points, Woodridge had its most offensive quarter, scoring 14 points in the fourth. Sean McCoy was a large part of Woodridge's streak, as nine of his team-leading 13 points came in the final quarter.

"We've really been working hard on ways to isolate Sean (McCoy) on offense," Fantone said. "Sean is probably the best at knowing where open spots on the court are without the ball. He's really good at reading the defense, part of the quarterback in him."

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