GREEN: Size, tenacity and suffocating defense on the part of the Green Bulldogs proved to be too much for the visiting Revere Minutemen as the hosts started slow, but emerged with a 52-33 Suburban League victory.
In the first quarter, both teams struggled to find their rhythm and more than three minutes into the game, neither side had managed to score. In the first few minutes, the Bulldogs and Minutemen (1-4, 1-3 Suburban) combined for eight turnovers and just three field-goal attempts.
Eventually, the Bulldogs (5-0, 4-0 Suburban League) settled down thanks to the steady offensive play of 6-foot-6 senior forward Dan Fanelly, whose seven points and four rebounds in the opening half came mostly on shots from close range as he attacked the rim with consistency.
"Once we settled down, we were all right,” Green coach Mark Kinsley said. “Early on, we were getting a little frustrated with them holding the ball and they were getting some penetration, but we settled in and did a good job."
On the defensive end, Green was suffocating in a man-to-man defense behind the length of Fanelly, 6-foot-8 senior center Josh Pritchard and 6-foot-2 guard Austin Marciniak.
Revere was able to effectively penetrate with guard Jordan Holtkamp, but every time he broke through the perimeter defense, there was Fanelly or Pritchard waiting to offer resistance. Forced to settle for a more deliberate pace, Revere was unable to find any consistency and managed just six field goals in the opening half and turned the ball over eight times. A stingy defense kept the Minutemen in the game, but they trailed 24-12 at the break and after notching just four points in the second quarter, Dean Rahas' crew needed to find answers in the 10-minute intermission.
Instead, the Green defense tightened its grip further early in the third quarter, holding Revere scoreless for the first 4:16 of the period as the grind-it-out approach worked on the offensive end for the Bulldogs. Fanelly added four points and four rebounds in the period as Kinsley began to substitute more liberally to keep his starters fresh in case they were needed in the final period.
Revere attempted to battle back with three 3-pointers in the quarter, including two by Dylan Seikel, but Green stretched its lead to 20 late in the period by taking advantage of Minutemen miscues on the offensive end and converting them to baskets in transition.
Rahas felt the Green defense may have been a little too physical in its pressure and pleaded with the officiating crew throughout the night to keep a close eye on what he felt were hand checks by Bulldog defenders to impede his players' progress toward the basket.
Fanelly's night nearly took a dangerous turn early in the fourth quarter, when Marciniak threw a lob pass on a fast break that was just off the mark, leading to a collision between Fanelly and a Revere defender that saw the lanky senior forward awkwardly on the ground with his wrists taking the brunt of the fall. Fortunately for Green, Fanelly was fine and showed as much by blocking two shots the next two trips down the floor.
"We ask Dan to do a little bit of everything and he's that kind of player. We ask him to score, rebound and even handle the ball in certain situations and he does it well," Kinsley added.
He finished his night with a double-double, notching 17 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks to pace the Bulldogs. Marciniak was the other Green scorer in double figures with 11.
Seikel led Revere with nine points and Holtkamp notched eight as the Minutemen scored 15 of their 21 second-half points on 3-pointers by the back court duo.