PREP BASKETBALL ROUNDUP : Comets Spot Fairfax Slowdown, Win With 3-Pointers
According to Sam Crawford, Fairfax tipped its hand too early Wednesday afternoon at Westchester.
The Comets’ play-making guard said the Lions wanted to slow the game, a disadvantage to Westchester. The Comets love to play pressure defense and run their fast break off the turnovers it creates.
Crawford didn’t want Westchester involved in a half-court slow-tempo game and decided to take matters into his own hands with a barrage of 3-point baskets. His shooting and pressure defense helped pace Westchester to a 70-49 victory over the Lions in a Metro League contest.
The victory gave the Comets a 6-0 record in league play and a 13-3 mark overall and sets up a meeting between the league’s two unbeaten teams Friday afternoon when Westchester travels to Manual Arts, also 6-0 in league play.
Fairfax fell to 3-3 in league and 10-8 overall.
Crawford led the Comets with 20 points, five assists and six steals, and he set the tone of the game with his long jumpers and tough defensive stance.
“I knew they (Fairfax) had a good team and they thought if they were patient and slowed things down, they could keep the score in the 60s and it would be an advantage to them,” said Crawford, who hit three 3-pointers.
“That’s why I started shooting my jumper. I figured if it went in, we’d get the score back up where we wanted. If not, it would be down where they wanted it. Fortunately they went in.”
Westchester Coach Ed Azzam gave Crawford high marks for his performance.
“He wasn’t really distributing the ball as he normally does, but I think he played his best defensive game of the year,” Azzam said.
Westchester led the entire way and opened a 31-17 halftime lead. But Crawford had only eight points at intermission and center Zan Mason, who averages better than 21 per game, had just four.
All that changed in the third period when Mason knocked down 11 and Crawford contributed 12 as the Comets increased their lead to 58-30 at the buzzer.
“I knew we were out of it at the end of the third quarter,” said Fairfax Coach Harvey Kitani. “They came out exhibiting the same kind of defensive intensity they had in the first half and I knew that would be tough to overcome.”
Mason finished with 15 points and five rebounds, while Charles Ladson had seven points and six boards. Renaud Gordon and Booker Waugh had seven rebounds apiece.
Fairfax forward Estevan Johnson led all scorers with 23 points.