Pearl River Boys Basketball Starts Fast In Win at Albertus

UPDATED with details and reaction from Pearl River's 67-54 victory. Kevin Degnan led the Pirates with 32 points and 15 rebounds.

The Pearl River boys basketball team showed no rust from the winter break, taking control with a hot shooting streak early and controlling the game from there in a 67-54 victory at Albertus Magnus Monday.

The Pirates led by as many as 16 points in the first half, but had to hold off a second-quarter rally by the Falcons to extend the lead back to eight at halftime.

"Every once in a while you get starts like that where everything seems to go in," Pearl River Head Coach Jerry Houston, Jr. said. "In the back of your mind, you know it's not going to continue. I thought the real important point was right before the half, extending it back to eight, instead of going in with a three-point game or it's tied or we're down one. If you are up 16 and then coming in (at halftime), you're up two, there is a sense you lost something."

Houston said Albertus Magnus was able to create matchup problems for Pearl River because it has so many players who can get the ball to the basket from outside and shoot from three-point range. 

"Runs happen," Pearl River senior Kevin Degnan said. "You have to keep looking forward. Now it's our turn to make a run and step up our defense."

Degnan, a 6-foo-t8 forward, did his part by taking full advantage of his size against the smaller Falcons, scoring 32 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. He still had plenty of help on the offense. Pearl River couldn't manage four scorers in double digits as it had the two previous games, but Jack Byrnes had 15 points and Thomas Armour and James Linnane each had nine. Linnane, who also had 10 rebounds, scored seven of those points in the fourth quarter.

"Jimmy really had a nice quarter for us," Houston said. "(Scoring on) back-to-back possessions on offensive rebounds. He kicked a pass to Tommy Armour for a layup at the end of the shot clock. The fourth quarter, Tommy Armour and Jimmy really chipped in."

Linnane drew a foul and made the free throw on the second of those baskets off offensive rebounds to push Pearl River's lead to 55-42 with 5:41 remaining in the game, but Albertus Magnus did manage one last rally. The Falcons cut the lead to seven at 59-52 on a steal and layup by sophomore David Garcia, but the Pirates responded with an 8-0 run to put the game away. 

It was Pearl River's fourth consecutive victory, pushing the Pirates' record to 6-3. Pearl River had not played in a week. The game against Albertus Magnus had been scheduled for Friday at Pearl River, but had to be postponed due to the snow.

"It was tough not playing for a week, but I thought we did a great job today," Degnan said. 

"It's good to get a win," Houston said. "I'm pleased with how we responded to this kind of environment, this type of team an the runs they were able to put together."

Freshman guard Justin Bullock helped Albertus Magnus make those runs, leading his team with 13 points. Junior guard Chris Conklin and Garcia each had 10 for the Falcons. 

"He's a good player now," Houston said of Bullock. "I'm sure he's only going to get better, which is bad news going forward."
For video from Monday's game, click here. 


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