BRIARCLIFF, N.Y. - Ossinings aggressive, overplaying defense gave the Pride what appeared to be an insurmountable lead in the third quarter against Briarcliff, Friday.
The Pride were up by 20 points, but a furious fourth-quarter outburst by the Bears made it close before the visitors held on for a 68-59 in a Section 1 boys basketball game.
Stiven Espinoza-Hunter led the Pride (4-10) with 15 points. Sam LaCour, Justin Davidov and Latif Reid added 14 apiece.
Ossining led by one at halftime, 30-29, but stretched it to 18 through three at 52-34, as a result of a stifling defense.
At hafltime we talked about raising our intensity, said LaCour, who also had eight rebounds. We felt we came out and executed on all cylinders in the second half, but mainly on defense. We picked it up 120 percent.
Ossining was playing tight, man-to-man defense and overplaying the passing lanes, resulting in eight steals during the third quarter. When Ossining was not getting a steal in the third, the Pride was forcing the Bears into difficult shots.
After a Ryan Huegel free throw for Briarcliff, 2:40 into the third made the score 35-30, Ossining went on a scoring rampage. The Pride scored the next 14 points During this stretch, LaCour, on a power move to the basket, scored over Briarcliffs big man, Brian Daniels, was fouled and added the free throw. One minute later, LaCour had a steal, started a fast break and finished it with a feed to Davidov.
Briarcliff scored its first basket of the quarter with 46.8 seconds on a Tyriek Johnson offensive follow.
The Pride raised the lead t0 57-38 early in the fourth before the Bears came roaring back. Briarcliff went on a 15-1 run to get within five, 58-53, with 3:17 in the game. That was the closest Briarcliff got.
I think we got a little flustered, but it was our fault for allowing them to come back, LaCour said.
Ossinings defense, specifically Latif Reid and LaCour, did not allow Daniels to become a factor. The Briarcliff center had one basket through three quarters and finished with 15 points.
When we played them the first time, at home, we really didnt do a good job against him, LaCour said.
Johnson led the Bears with 19 points, Daniels had 15 and Huegel finished with 12.
Ossining 14 16 22 16 -- 68Briarcliff 10 19 5 25 -- 59
Ossining (68) -- Justin Davidov 4-6-14, Stiven Espinoza-Hunter 4-7-15, Noah Morton 1-1-3, Sam LaCour 5-4-14, Latif Reid 4-6-14, Kayvon Murray 2-0-4, Carmine-Gemei Gerrity 1-2-4, Rashawn Armstrong 0-0-0, Xavier Haye Robinson 0-0-0, Kareem Dantes 0-0-0. Totals: 21-26-68. Briarcliff (59) -- Ryan Huegel 4-2-12, Louis Greco 1-0-2, Tyriek Johnson 5-8-19, Ray Schuttenberg 0-2-2, Paul Henshaw 1-0-2, Brian Daniels 3-9-15, Spencer Seabrook 0-0-0, Jonathan Marrero 2-0-4, Jared Jones 1-1-3. Totals: 17-22-59. 3-point goals -- Bc: Huegel 2, Johnson.
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