By PAUL GOTHAM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Darrell Barley knows the road ahead holds plenty of challenges. That’s why the East High coach looked at Friday’s game through a different lens.
Windell Lucas and Zion Morrison led the way as the East High Eagles easily defeated the Franklin Quakers, 112-53 in RCAC action.
Lucas and Morrison combined for 16 points in the second quarter as East outscored Franklin, 39-11 to turn a single-digit game into a blowout.
But to Barley, the game never should have been close.
“We started off really, really slow,” Barley said. “We looked awful. We weren’t making any outside shots. Definitely didn’t get the putbacks. Got the rebounds but not the putbacks.”
That was the first seven minutes when East found itself in a tie game at nine. From there it was lift off.
The Eagles used their 2-2-1 full court pressure to gain momentum.
“Try to make them make long passes,” Barley explained referring to the strategy deployed by former East coaching legend, Sal Rizzo. “Take away the short passes and with that anything can happen. I thought we got our hands on the ball when they tried to take away those long passes.”
Morrison had a hand in nine straight points to give the Eagles a 21-point advantage midway through the second quarter.
The senior guard led Maurice Coney for a layup. Then he picked off a pass and converted a layup. On the next possession, he followed teammate John Segarra’s layup in transition for another bucket. Another layup this time with contact, and he completed his first of two three-point plays in the quarter.
East led 35-14 and never looked back.
By the time Lucas connected twice from the free throw line, and Morrison completed his second old-fashioned three-point play, the lead had swelled to 30 at 48-18.
“They can score with the best of them,” Barley added. “We did a pretty good getting to the basket. When we needed it we were penetrating and kicking for open looks.”
“Our defense really picked it up,” Lucas said. “Helped us get some easy baskets.”
Coming out of the locker room at halftime, Morrison didn’t take his foot off the pedal.
He started the third quarter with another steal and conversion. Then he drove baseline and finished with contact for another three-point play. After Cypher Campbell Boller scored underneath, Morrison went with his left hand and drove the for another bucket.
“We got some tough teams we have to play,” Barley said referring to the upcoming Bishop Kearney tournament where the Eagles will do battle with Niagara Falls of Section VI and Saint Mary’s from New York City. “The sky’s the limit, but we got a bunch of work to do.”
Lucas finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Morrison led all scorers with 25. He added six assists. Coney chipped in with 10 points. Segarra had 12 and Chaz Washington, 11.
Keeshman Washington led Franklin with 17 points. Nate Ellison chipped in with eight.
Franklin falls to 0-3. The Quakers play at Victor next Tuesday.
East improves to 3-0. East plays Early College on Tuesday.