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Fitch falters but doesn't fold



Published: Sat, January 19, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The Falcons scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to down Ursuline 68-61.

AUSTINTOWN -- Austintown Fitch saw an early lead disappear, but the Falcons refused to fold against Ursuline's pressure and went on to a 68-61 win Friday in the Steel Valley Conference.

The Falcons (7-4, 1-2) led 22-10 after one quarter, but Ursuline's Marc Palermo hit a 3-pointer with 3 minutes, 23 seconds remaining in the third quarter to forge a 42-all tie.

Palermo scored 25 points and added six assists for the Irish (10-3, 2-1), who are 3-3 after a 7-0 start.

With 5:36 remaining in the game, Doug Foster scored his only basket for the Irish to narrow the Falcon lead to 49-48.

The Falcons scored 21 points in the fourth quarter on 6-for-10 shooting from the floor and 9-for-10 from the foul line to stave off the Irish.

Rob Patzak, a 6-foot-0 senior, scored the first 10 points for Fitch to give the Falcons a 10-5 lead, and he finished with 19 points.

The Falcons had lost three in a row.

The Falcons, who shot 27-for-49 in the game (55 percent), made nine of 13 tries in the first eight minutes to gain the early 12-point lead.

Missing the mark: Shooting woes plagued the Irish, who made 4-of-18 shots in the first quarter, 20-for-66 in the game (30 percent) and just eight of 32 from 3-point land.

Kevin Coleman scored his only two baskets -- both 3-pointers -- as the Irish used a 7-0 run in the second quarter to close the gap to 32-27 at the break.

Palermo capped the burst with his third 3-pointer.

Fitch quickly pushed the cushion to 10 points in the third, but Ursuline refused to fade.

The Falcons used a jumper by Jason Aikens and a steal and lay-up by Terrell Eargle to make it 57-48 in the final quarter.

However, Palermo canned a jumper at 1:20 to go as the Irish pulled within four at 59-55.

Fitch ended the game with a 9-6 push.

Kevin Johnson scored 13 points and Greg Mayes scored 10 points and had nine rebounds for the Falcons.

Fitch out-rebounded Ursuline, 45-29.

Isaiah Poindexter scored 13 points and Andre Edmonds pulled in eight rebounds for the Irish.




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