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Falcons get 72-61 win over Hubbard

February 22, 2018
Nik Zirounis , The Town Crier

Inconsistent shooting has been a major factor why the Fitch boys basketball team has struggled to string together wins this season.

Poor performances from the floor stunted the Falcons during a three game losing streak that started February 9 against Howland and continued in losses to Ursuline and Cardinal Mooney the following week. Last Saturday at home the Falcons finally found some shooting rhythm and were able to snap their futile skid with a 72-61 win over Hubbard. Getting that victory was important to the psyche of the Fitch men, but with the state tournament staring them in the face, there is still a lot to improve upon.

"We need to find a way to stay consistent," complained Fitch head coach Brian Beany a few hours before his team hosted Hubbard. "(Inconsistent shooting) has plagued this team all year. We get a couple of good quarters each game then the shots stop falling. It's been some crazy momentum swings."

Momentum swung Fitch's way in the fourth quarter versus Hubbard. Down 47-45, the Falcons outscored the Eagles 27-14 over the final eight minutes. That fourth period explosion was certainly what the doctor ordered for Beany's bunch.

"That was a good quarter for us," said Beany. "We've been working on putting the ball in the hoop."

A.J. Green put the most balls in the hoop for the Falcons last Saturday and ended the game with 19 points. Right behind Green was Chris Brown who nailed all six of Fitch's three-pointers to finish with 18 points. Emmanuel Dawkins also got into double digits with 16 points. Randy Smith just missed with 9 points.

With the game in the balance against Mooney one night earlier, it was the Cardinal kids that came up clutch from the field. The Cardinals were able to open up a close game by completing key conversions in the final frame, while the Falcons' offense went absent. Mooney managed to pull out a 54-46 win.

"It seemed like (Mooney's) players were hitting all of their shots and our kids couldn't buy a basket," said a dejected Beany.

Smith hit three triples for Fitch on his way to a team-high 17 points. Dawkins had two three's and ten points. Dylan Beany scored six for the Falcons. A subpar 5 for 15 showing from the foul line didn't help the Falcons' cause either.

There are two more games remaining for the Falcons to close out this regular season. Beany's bunch was scheduled to travel to Alliance earlier this week then they need to close out All American Conference action at Boardman this Friday. Fitch had one of its best offensive outputs this season when it slammed the Spartans 72-58 a few nights after Christmas.

The Falcons will play their third consecutive road game when they travel to Dover to jumpstart the tournament on the last day of February. The Crimson Tornadoes are 14-6 overall and are seeded seventh in the Canton District. Coach Beany and his brethren were planning to scout the Dover dudes this weekend, but already have an idea on who they resemble.

"(Dover) is similar to Canfield," said Beany. "They are a physical team, but are not very big. It won't be easy playing at their place."

Although the chore of playing a higher seed on the road seems daunting to Fitch's coach, he still believes that if his boys can sustain four quarters of offense, there is no limit to how far they can make it in March.

"When we're consistent, we can play with anyone," said Beany.



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