By Zack Farmer
After a disappointing loss to Lick-Wilmerding on Tuesday, the University boys basketball team fell behind early against visiting Urban on Friday, but turned up its defensive pressure in the second and third quarters to rally and pull away in 63-47 a win.
The win broke a first-place tie between the two teams in the Bay Counties League West and put the Red Devils all alone at the top of the league with two games remaining.
“[When] you lose a game, doubts creep in, so this was a great bounce-back game for us and now hopefully we can build on it,” said University head coach Randal Bessolo.
Urban (18-5, 5-3) jumped out on to a 14-7 lead in the first quarter after a jumper from Nate Cohen, but University (18-6, 6-2) fought back. The Blues were only able to score eight points for rest of the half and University also began to find its rhythm from three-point range.
The Red Devils hit three shots from distance in the second quarter, including a pair from David Medoff, to take a 30-22 halftime lead.
“We dug ourselves a little hole, but we always believe in who we are and what we do, and it was just a matter of time to make the adjustment and get rolling,” Bessolo said.
It was a stark difference than their last game against Lick-Wilmerding, when University only hit 6-of-34 three-point shots.
“With Lick, it was such an offensive disaster,” said University senior forward Will Carroll. “Hitting the first couple of shots and facing the deficit was a real big mental step for us.”
The Red Devils kept up the pressure in the third quarter and it was led by Carroll. He scored nine of his 13 points in the quarter, helping University take a 16-point lead.
“[Will is] one of our key leaders and he wanted the ball, and when a senior wants the ball, we give him the ball, and he did the right things with it,” Bessolo said. “He really took command of the game in the third quarter.”
Urban was not quite at full strength, as senior shooting guard Matt Monges played with an ankle injury and managed to score nine points. Urban senior Jonathan Baer scored a team-high 13 points, but the Red Devils continued to pull away and led by as many as 20 points in the fourth quarter.
Jack Gale – 15
Will Carroll – 13
Harold Getz – 12
David Medoff – 8
Three players tied with 5 points
Jonathan Baer – 13
Nate Cohen – 10
Matt Monges – 9
Harrison Golding – 5
Harry Krinky – 2