By Jay Young
The Dunkirk Marauders (1-6) picked up their first win of the season on Sunday night after finishing off Forestville (0-7), 51-44, in the consolation game of the Southwestern Tabone Christmas Classic at Jamestown Community College.
Dunkirk’s Michael Bess (4) is surrounded by Forestville’s Ryan Forbes (23) and Jeff Van Vlack during the consolation game of the Tabone Christmas Classic on Sunday afternoon. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J photo by Jay Young
The Marauders' height inside the post from underclassmen Rashad Brown and Isaiah Thomas was too much for the Hornets to handle during crucial points of the game.
Thomas finished with 14 points, including six in fourth quarter, as well as adding eight boards.
"Both of our big guys are sophomores," Dunkirk coach Steve O'Brien said, "and they are still working on understanding spacing and where they have to be. So, there is a lot of room to improve."
Brown had a stellar night on defense, coming down with 10 rebounds and adding four blocks, while Michael Bess led the Marauders in scoring with 21 points, which earned him all-tournament honors.
Jake Nosbisch of Forestville had 14 points to round out the all-tournament squad.
The opening period clearly belonged to the Marauders, who opened up a 13-2 margin to start the game. A pair of early baskets inside from Richard Pickens put Forestville in an early hole that was then extended by Brown's first tally of the night.
"From the second quarter on our effort was good," noted Forestville coach Ralph Jackson. "We have been getting off to slow starts early on all year."
Early miscues by the Hornets proved to be a deciding factor on Sunday, as Dunkirk maintained its lead all the way to the final buzzer.
Forestville did its best to counter the dominant post prescence by the Marauders by feeding Wayne Hartloff inside during the second period. Hartloff managed five points in the quarter and 11 on the night with seven boards in his best performance of the year.
"I talked with him before the game and told him that he's the biggest guy on the floor and he needs to act like it," Jackson said. "Tonight was his best game. He really came through for us."
In the early minutes of the third quarter, the Hornets were able to shrink the Dunkirk lead to two after a driving tally by Nosbisch, but that would be as close as the game got.
Thomas and Brown responded promptly to the offensive push with a pair of inside baskets and stretched the lead back to six.
While Bess was dynamic on offense, he also provided consistent free-throw shooting for the Marauders. After making two consecutive baskets near the end of the game, Bess made Forestville pay for late fouls with four makes from the charity stripe to end the night.
Nosbisch 7 2 16, Corley 2 0 5, Van Vlack 1 0 2, Youngberg 0 3 3, Makuch 0 2 2, Hartloff 5 1 11, Stone 1 1 3, Szumigala 1 0 2, Forbes 0 0 0. Totals 17 9 44.
Bess 7 7 21, Pickens 2 1 5 , Brown 3 1 7, Ray 1 0 2, Thomas 6 2 14, Kubasik 1 0 2. Totals 20 12 51.
3-point goals: Corley.
Forestville 2 15 8 19-44
Dunkirk 13 6 12 20-51