By ERIC FORTUNE
For the Star Beacon
The Jefferson Falcons like these Bulldogs much more than one from Poland.
That is for sure.
After a back-and-forth first quarter between them and Lakeview, the Falcons took over the game with a strong inside presence from David Chase, not allowing much in the way of second-chance points as they pulled away to win 61-39 in an All-American Conference showdown.
“We like to get out and run,” Jefferson coach Steve French said. “That is our style. With them pressing, you are in that up-and-down game the whole time. When we would flash and go get the basketball, it was looking good. We were getting it up the floor. Too many times, though, we were hanging back.
“We came out a little flat on defense in the first quarter, but we really challenged the guys to D up after the first quarter. We really brought the D there in the final quarter giving up just three points.”
The Falcons (8-5, 3-2) finished with four players in double figures scoring wise: Sam Caskey (18 points), James Jackson (15 points), Lucas Hitchcock (10 points) and Chase (13 points).
After Hitchcock 3 made it 18-15 in favor of the Falcons after one, the 6-foot-7 Chase took advantage of a big size matchup scoring the first six points for Jefferson to extend the lead to eight.
Chase scored nine of his 13-point double-double (14 rebounds) in the post time after time, which the Bulldogs (3-9, 1-5) just had no answer for.
“When we saw none of their starters were over 6 foot, we knew we had to get the ball inside,” French said. “He really played well and never came out of the game. He was very big for us.”
The Falcons were able to build out their advantage over the course of the game, despite committing 26 turnovers.
“That has been our M.O. all year,” Lakeview coach Craig Mild said. “We play hard and get the turnovers.
“They played well. That is all I can say. If it came down to effort, though, we outplayed them. Though what it comes down to is execution and they outplayed us, in that regard.”
Lakeview was tenacious on the defensive end with 18 steals, but when it came down to making a bucket to capitalize on the Jefferson mistake, more often than not, it was a one-and-done miss.
The Bulldogs shot 16 of 64 (25 percent) from the field for the game.
“We did what we wanted to do,” Mild said. “We wanted to pressure them and create turnovers, which we did. We just didn’t turn them into points on the other end. We make at least half of those and we are in the game.”
Fortune is a freelance writer from McDonald.