By Doug Chapin
A deep bench and balanced attack helped the Tigers to prevail.
WARREN — Howland High used its superior depth to wear down Warren JFK in the second half in a 63-50 victory for the Tigers Saturday night in the Eagles’ gymnasium.
“I thought our bench helped us a lot and I thought our switching pressure defenses helped us,” Andres said. “They are a hard-nosed team and eventually we wore them down. More than our size, I think it was our bench and our size on the bench. T.J. Lanier and Stephen Reider played well for us off the bench.”
“I thought in the second half they started to wear us down,” JFK coach Bruce Timko said. “I don’t make excuses for our basketball team, but they started wearing us down physically. They can freely sub because they have a lot of players. That hurt us toward the end of the game.
“Our kids played hard, we just have to play smarter and we have to execute better. When you don’t have the numbers and the size, you’ve got to execute.”
The score was tied 26-26 at halftime before Howland worked out to a 42-36 lead after three quarters.
The Tigers (4-2) used a 9-2 run to open a 58-45 advantage with 2:12 left in the game, then held off the game Eagles the rest of the way.
After cutting the lead to 58-50 at the 1:35 mark, JFK (3-2) missed its last three shots.
Howland had its usual balanced scoring led by Jared Kirin with 14 points and Tyler Scott with 11.
Kirin also had 10 rebounds and Scott grabbed seven. Ryan Glinn added nine points and Drew Guido had six points and four assists.
Kyle Spence sparked the Howland defensive effort with eight steals in addition to four assists and seven points. T.J. Lanier and Matt Haering contributed seven and six points, respectively, off the Tiger bench.
JFK’s senior scoring standout Nick Brown worked hard for his 18 points and 11 rebounds. Steven Procopio added 15 points for the Eagles.
“We switched a lot of defenses,” Andres said about Howland‘s strategy. “We thought we had to put full-court pressure on their perimeter people in the second half because they are inexperienced.
“We tried to double on Brown,” Andres continued. “I thought we did a nice job on him, switching defenses, doubling him whenever he had the ball. I thought Tyler Scott did a good job on Brown but it also was a total team effort.”