Pine Valley continued their dominant start to the season as they extended their winning streak to nine.
Head Coach Bobby Slisz knew right away that his team needed to be physical and had to keep that up for the rest of the game. In this Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association (C.C.A.A.) East match up, physicality was an understatement. A combined total of 36 fouls were committed by both squads.
“Really emotional game especially when you have good teams on the floor. It’s gonna get competitive, it’s gonna get emotional, it’s gonna get physical. Keep your mental composure, battle through the adversity,” said Slisz.
The game from the start became scrappy and aggressive. Tied at nine Pine Valley went on a quick 7-0 run, but Franklinville made a quick run of their own. Their star player and senior Blake Frank nailed a three before the buzzer to go down 16-14 at the end of the first quarter.
It continued to go back and forth as Frank provided the majority of the scoring for his team while seniors Bryce Sercu and Wayne Libby got buckets for Pine Valley. Libby played well on half-court offense, getting big boards and scoring off second-chance buckets.
“All the teams we’ve faced have been very physical, we have to learn to be physical with them. I thought why not fight through the contact and know its coming, expect it to come,” said Libby.
Frank continued his production and found ways to create shots, he finished the day with 24 points. However Frank became the only threat to Pine Valley’s defense.
The main factor for that is the length from Pine Valley; their half-court defense made it difficult for other players to find open shots. It also challenged Franklinville from running their offense and finding open passes they needed to swing the ball around.
On top of that, Pine Valley found their scoring from points off turnovers and it came from their top scorers in Libby (20.1 ppg) and Sercu (15.9 ppg). Sophomore Miles Volk also got in on the scoring action, finishing with 11 points.
“I was really proud of how they came out in the second half and established that they are going to be the dominant team and their going to make sure that you don’t have a shot on defense turning it into offense,” said Slisz.
Libby scored 12 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter while Sercu dropped in six of his 19 total points as well. The run down the stretch put the final nail in the coffin.
Pine Valley improves their record to 9-1 overall and 4-0 in CCAA East. They’ll play Panama on their home court on Tuesday Jan. 25 at 7:00 p.m. Panama defeated Pine Valley in their season opener as the Panthers will look to get some revenge.
Franklinville falls to 7-4 and 0-2 in league play. They take on Archbishop Walsh on the road Monday Jan. 24, tip off set for 6:30 p.m.
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