BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. Westlake boys' basketball had gotten off to a strong start this season as the Wildcats won six of their first seven games.
But they ran into a buzz saw at Briarcliff on Friday night.
The Bears raced out to a 12-4 lead after the first quarter and led by 23 at halftime en route to a 64-36 rout of Westlake, who had not played since the week before Christmas. Wildcats head coach Steve Pesick said his team simply did not show the necessary energy on Friday and in the days leading up to the game.
We were flat this week in practice, Pesick said. Coming out being 6-1, I just dont think we came out with intensity this week when we got back from vacation.
Still, Pesick said the loss can open his teams eyes.
I think its a good thing this happened, Pesick said. We got four games in the next five days, and its going to wake up our team to this is the level of competition for the next ten games and weve got to come prepared to play.
Pesick added that he takes responsibility as the coach for the teams lack of preparedness on Friday.
Briarcliff spread the ball, and the points, around Friday night. No Bear scored in double digits, but five players had eight points, including Jared Jones, Tyriek Johnson, Brian Daniels, Paul Henshaw and Ray Shuttenberg. Ten Briarcliff players in total scored on Friday.
The Bears led, 51-25, at the end of the third quarter and opened up their largest lead of the game at 64-29 with a little more than 3:00 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Briarcliff played in its first game on Friday since a Dec. 22 win against Rye Neck.
Rust was not a problem.
Head coach Brendan Coxen said the teams several scrimmage games during the break helped keep them in game shape.
I wasnt really concerned, Coxen said. We kept these guys fresh. We played a lot of basketball. I felt that we were confident and these guys are always ready to go.
As for Westlake, the schedule shows them no mercy. The Wildcats, who were 6-1 coming into Fridays game, follow up the 7 p.m. game Friday with a noon game against John Jay on Saturday at Brewster High School.
The key is, as we just told them here, this game is over, Pesick said. This game was over at halftime. We didnt let them play like that, but this game was over at halftime and weve got to start thinking right now about tomorrow.
Pesick also looked further ahead on the schedule.
Tomorrows a very winnable game, Pesick said Friday. It gives you momentum going into Croton and Pleasantville next week, which you need. Hard to go into playing against Croton and Pleasantville losing two in a row. Got to get that one win under your belt before we go play Croton on Tuesday, and thats what we told the kids. Go home, get a good rest and get ready for tomorrow.
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