PELHAM, N.Y. Pelham coach Mark Finegan had not had a chance to scout Harrison before his team faced them on Tuesday afternoon.
But forcing double-digit turnovers in one quarter is a way to beat almost any opponent.
The Pelicans (2-3) forced 10 turnovers in the third quarter and played lockdown defense in the fourth to earn a 55-39 victory over the Huskies (0-1) in a non-league matchup at the Pelham Middle School gymnasium.
Pelham outscored Harrison 16-5 in the fourth quarter to bury the Huskies in what had been a back-and-forth matchup for the first three quarters. Finegan praised his teams effort toward the end of the game, particularly the pressure that forced the numerous turnovers.
Tommy (Schiaroli) really sparked us on defense, Finegan said. We just decided to defend. I think that the ball pressure frazzled them a little bit.
Harrison head coach Gary Chiarella agreed. Once they started pressuring the ball, we fell apart, Chiarella said. They took us out of our offensive flow.
Chiarella added that a team should only have 10 to 12 turnovers per game, so having 10 in one quarter crippled his team.
When you turn the ball over 10 times, theyre going to get easy baskets off that, Chiarella said. It was just not a good third quarter.
Matt Henson was the star for the Pelicans on Tuesday on both ends of the court. He led the team in scoring, rebounds and steals.
Pelham led 17-9 with under five minutes to play in the first half, but Harrison took advantage of several Pelicans fouls to go on a 17-7 run to take a 26-24 lead into the break.
The Pelicans then came up with opportune steals and went on an 11-1 run through the end of the third quarter and into the fourth to take a 43-34 lead. Lance Stokes dunk off of a steal at the beginning of the final quarter made the Pelican fans jump out of their seats.
Finegan called timeout in the third quarter and challenged his team to play with more intensity. His plan worked, but he does not want to have to resort to that in the future.
Theres 18 games in a season, Finegan said. I cant be screaming and yelling and calling timeouts every game.
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