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Dec 22, 2021
OBSERVER Photo by Matt Spielman Dunkirk’s Marcel Carter shoots over Frewsburg’s Zack Carr during Tuesday’s nonleague basketball game at Frewsburg.
FREWSBURG — Dunkirk came into Tuesday’s nonleague game at Frewsburg with just seven healthy players.
With 5:34 left in the second quarter, two of them hobbled off the court — one wouldn’t return.
But Marcel Carter and Jayshaun Couser picked up their play for their fallen teammates.
Carter scored 27 points and Couser added 23 as the Marauders held off the Bears down the stretch for an 80-69 victory.
“We have other guys who step up. We work hard at practice,” Dunkirk head coach Sixto Rosario said of his short bench. “We have other guys who stayed home today. They’ll be back. You’ll see them contribute as well.”
OBSERVER Photo by Matt Spielman Dunkirk’s Amarion Tell drives to the basket as Frewsburg’s Gavin Smith defends during Tuesday’s nonleague basketball game at Frewsburg.
Buoyed by a 28-point first quarter, Dunkirk (5-0) led by double digits for most of the night until Frewsburg made a game of it in the final eight minutes.
A bucket from Lorenzo Lewis early in the fourth quarter gave the Marauders a 17-point lead, but the Bears fought back.
Cashing in on Dunkirk turnovers, back-to-back buckets from Frewsburg’s Connor Murray and Zack Carr made it 64-51 leading to a Marauders timeout.
The Marauders eventually went up 72-57, but a technical foul was assessed on the play and Murray converted one of two free throws for Frewsburg.
Two possessions later, Carr hit a 3-pointer and Gavin Smith followed with another lay-in off a Dunkirk turnover to cut the margin to nine.
The Bears looked like they would get a chance to cut further into the Marauders’ lead, but Couser banked in a 3-pointer with 2:05 remaining to take the life out of the gym.
“They are long, they are tall, they are quick, and they are smart basketball players,” Frewsburg head coach Rob Collver said. “They really know how to use leverage and get angles. We tried to do our best with practices, but there is nothing like actually playing them.”
Zach Winters — who finished with a game-high 29 points — twice cut the Frewsburg deficit to eight with buckets down the stretch, but Dunkirk had just enough offense late to put the game away.
“He definitely had to expend more energy on the defensive end, which takes a toll on the offensive end,” Collver said of Winters, who scored 49 points in the Bears’ previous game against Gowanda. “They also did a really good job on him offensively. They pushed him around a little bit more than he is used to.”
Dunkirk shot 10 of 20 from the floor during a 28-16 first quarter, but struggled in the middle two quarters, allowing the Bears to stay close.
“The old mentality is, ‘If you stop our main guys, can you stop the rest of the guys?’” said Rosario, whose Marauders also got 14 points from Lorenzo Lewis and 8 from Amarion Tell. “We put the rest of the guys to work at practice. They come out and execute.”
For the game, the Marauders shot 31 of 58 (53.4%) from the floor, including 7 of 20 (35%) from 3-point range, and turned the ball over 15 times.
“I’m confident with all of them when the ball is in their hands,” Rosario said. “Marcel, definitely. Amarion, definitely. When the ball is in our hands, we definitely have control of the game.”
Frewsburg only turned it over eight times, but was 29 of 74 (39.2%) from the field, including just 3 of 23 (13%) from 3-point range.
“All week we had worked on getting it in low and then working it back outside. We did a lot of shooting drills,” Collver said. “I told the guys, ‘Look, sometimes they fall and sometimes they don’t. You have to keep shooting.’ This is only our fourth game. I think as we get into the season a little more, our percentages will be up way more.”
Dunkirk is off until another nonleague game next Wednesday at Westfield while Frewsburg will travel to Silver Creek on Thursday.
“There is nobody in our league that is as fast as them,” Collver said of the Marauders. “Scheduling a team like this is super important for us to prepare for our big league schedule when we come out of Christmas break.”
NOTES: Smith had 10 points, nine rebounds, eight assists and three steals while Carr had seven assists and Murray had five assists for Frewsburg. … Greg Orcutt scored 18 points as Dunkirk rallied from 13 points down in the fourth quarter to win the jayvee game 62-61. Garrett Brink scored 24 points for Frewsburg.
DUNKIRK (80)
Tell 3 1 8, Carter 10 6 27, Couser 9 2 23, Lewis 6 1 14, Lanski 2 1 6, Thompson 0 0 0, DeJesus 1 0 2. Totals 31 11 80.
FREWSBURG (69)
Carr 4 0 10, Smith 5 0 10, Spencer 1 0 2, Murray 5 1 12, Sears 0 0 0, LeBaron 3 0 6, Winters 11 7 29. Totals 29 8 69.
3-point goals–Tell, Carter, Couser 3, Lewis, Lanski, Carr 2, Murray.
Dunkirk 28 12 14 26 — 80
Frewsburg 16 11 16 26 — 69
Jayvees: Dunkirk won 62-61.
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