Chris Macali sparked the Eagles with 10 assists and five steals.
By SAL MARINO
WARREN -- The Warren JFK basketball team's 60-43 victory over visiting Maplewood on Friday was big for Eagles coach John Condoleon.
"Tonight, we played well, and we have been playing well the last four games," Condoleon said.
"Tonight, our defense forced a lot of Maplewood turnovers, and Chris Macali did a good job defensively."
Macali had eight points, 10 of his team's 15 assists and five of his team's 11 steals.
"Maplewood is a very good team and I am happy with the play of our team," Condoleon said.
Early lead: The Eagles (8-8) jumped out to a 16-8 lead in the first period. Colin Clemente connected on three 3-point goals in the first and also had a game-high 21 points for JFK.
Keith Black of the Eagles had four points in the first stanza and John DiFiore had three points as well. Black enjoyed seven of his team's 20 rebounds.
For Maplewood, Jerry Mohorick had two 3-point goals and Kevin Petterson had the other two baskets for the Rockets.
Mohorick had four 3-pointers to lead the Rockets with 16 points.
JFK held a 31-17 halftime lead.
"We knew that Kennedy could shoot," Maplewood coach Rich Chapman said. "They are healthy and playing good ball right now.
"We missed some lay-ups and we missed some bunnies," Chapman said. "You get with a good team and it will get back at you."
Rockets cut gap: Midway through the third quarter, with JFK up 37-19, the Rockets scored six unanswered points by Bryan White and Matt Chronister to close the gap to 37-25.
Clemente scored a basket and two foul shots to close out the third session at 41-25.
Early in the fourth period, Clemente hit four straight foul shots, followed by two foul shots by Black and a 3-pointer by Christian Stinellis to help JFK open a 50-25 lead.
"We knew they would come out hard on us," Clemente said. "We knew we would have to play our best because we knew they were good. This game we had to prove we were better."
With JFK in the lead 37-25, Clemente scored eight unanswered points, the last four of the third period and the first four of the fourth period.
That was followed by two foul shots by Black and a 3-pointer by Stinellis.