Learning to Win on the Road: Phoenix Boys Varsity Rides Second Half to Victory

Hyde: 48

Sacopee Valley: 31

All good basketball teams must first learn how to win on the road. This is a simple fact yet can be extremely difficult to accomplish. Long bus rides, strange gyms, loud and hostile crowds. The excuses are there for the taking, even before the game begins. However, the real key to winning on the road is staying together as a unit and maintaining an identity. Despite a slow start, the Hyde boys’ varsity basketball team managed to do just that and pulled away in the 3rd quarter.

A challenge for the Phoenix in the early goings was on offense. A lack of movement, poor shot selection and good defense by Sacopee frustrated the away side and slowed down the game. The Phoenix found themselves in an early hole due to three deep jump shots by the Sacopee Valley point guard. How would they respond on the road?

The Phoenix took control, primarily due to defense. Solid and energetic defense often can be a remedy for a stagnant offense. The Phoenix were sparked by the play of their bench. 6th man extraordinaire Andrew Palermo and junior guards Ricky Buono and Nolan Lowder pressured the opposing  ball handler into 5 turnovers and passed the ball ahead to start the secondary break. The unselfish play of the bench also opened up shots for senior Kiefer Cundy. Cundy, who has shot extremely well the past three games, hit on three consecutive jump shots in the third quarter. By the start of the fourth, the Phoenix lead was 16 and the game was out of reach.

It was great to see the team stick together and earn the win on the road. Also, yesterday’s win was a prime example of our ‘next man up’ philosophy. If certain starters are struggling, the bench must be there to answer and pick up the slack. The Phoenix were led by Palermo ( 12 points, 6 rebounds ), Cundy (10 points ) and Bueno ( 6 points, 3 rebounds, 3 steals ). Next up? Rangeley at a neutral site.

–          Coach Begly