TRR photos by Ted Waddell

Flank speed: Sullivan West’s Alex Unser leads the pack as he heads for the sports-column glass.

Bulldogs cage Lions 59-47

LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — Sometimes sports—similar to life—is like a roller coaster.

You’re up, then down. You’re along for the ride. Just don’t get stuck in the middle.

At the close of the first half of the boys’ varsity basketball game between the Bulldogs of Sullivan West and the visiting Chapel Field Lions, things were looking pretty good for the Dawgs, as they took a 39-15 lead into the locker room.

But in the third frame of the non-league game on Tuesday, February 13, the Lions roared back to outgun the home team hoopsters 16-8 as at the 2.8-second mark Jeremy Torres dropped one through the rim to shave the Bulldogs lead to six points (47-41).

In the fourth period, it was a reversal of fortunes as Sullivan West got back on the upward swing to outscore Chapel Field 12-6 on the way to a 59-47 victory at the final buzzer.

Both squads are down to the wire in the race to the sectionals: Sullivan West (8-10 overall, 0-4 league); Chapel Field (3-12 overall, 2-4 league).

To get to sectionals, the Bulldogs need to win their next two games, and overcome that rocky roller coaster ride by putting it all together with a complete, well greased offense and defense on both sides of the court.

“We worked hard, just didn’t finish… we gave them three or four chances on their end,” said Lions coach Bill Spanjer.

Chapel Field takes to the floor with two senior captains: Jeremy Torres and Tom Liu.

“We’re just grinding it out, working together… trying to dig out of the hole we got into,” said Torres, a point guard.

Liu, a small forward, added, “They just outhustled us… we’ve got three more games to go; we’ve got to finish the season strong… everybody played with heart.”

Bulldogs coach John Meyer said of the victory in their bid to make sectionals: “We won; that’s the only thing that’s important.”

Speaking of the season’s ups and downs, he added, “We looked good at some points, and then got off track again… we’ve got to put some big games together.

“A win’s a win, and I’ll never say ‘no’ to a win.”

Top scorers:

Sullivan West was evenly balanced with Alex Unser (13 points), Reis Gieger(12), Brandon Dailey (11 including a 3), Kyle Reimer (10 including two 3s), Cody Powell (10 including a couple of 3s).

Chapel Field: Matt Vassell (19 including two 3s), Jeremy Torres (15 a pair of 3s), Sean Yaun (11 and a 3).

Stats from the free-throw line: SW 10/19 (53%), CF 4/10 (40%).

Reflecting upon Sullivan West’s wild and unpredictable roller coaster ride this season, a couple of Bulldogs stepped up the plate.

“We’re playing down to a lot of opponents… we’ve got to start playing up, not down,” said Eric McBride, a junior small forward.

“We can play better basketball,” added Mike Peters, a senior guard.

“The ball control wasn’t really there… it seemed like the shots were really early in the game… [but] weren’t carrying through to the rest of the game.”

Eyeing the top of the imaginary amusement park ride, Peters added, “If we play like we can, we can go to sectionals.”

On Wednesday, February 21 (after press time), the Bulldogs played their final home game of the season, a rite of passage marked by Senior Recognition Night.

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