Athena uses big third to beat Brighton

By PAUL GOTHAM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Picking up their defense in the full court, the Greece Athena Trojans used a 17-3 run to pull away from the Brighton Barons for a 76-67 victory in Monroe County Division III boys basketball action, Friday.

Leading by one at halftime, the Trojans limited Brighton to three points over their first nine possessions of the third quarter, a stretch in which Athena forced five turnovers.

“We switched the press,” Athena head coach Mike Setzer said. “One of the kids who really did a good job was Jahan Jones. When I can put him in the middle of the press, he’s very fast and he’s very long. He’s a really good trapper of the ball. He got a lot of deflections which led to steals.”

The Trojans converted those turnovers into buckets producing points on five of six possessions at the beginning of the stanza. When Jake Cerone later nailed a 3-pointer, the Trojans led 45-32. They eventually pushed their advantage to 20.

DeAndre Newsome sparked the run scoring the first four points of the quarter. The senior guard created a pair of turnovers and added an assist in those opening minutes of the third quarter.

Newsome finished the game with 16 points, leading four Trojans in double figures.

“He’s our engine,” Setzer stated. “We go as he goes. I can’t say enough about him. He’s our leader in assists. He’s making better decisions as the season goes on. He’s the guy. We want the ball in his hands in tight situations.”

Kenny Freeman added 15 points while Austin Brown and Tyler Curtis scored 10 apiece. Cerone scored eight.

Brown’s layup to close the first half gave Athena a 30-29 lead. They did not trail again.

Tre Jackson scored seven off the bench. Jones and James Reaves both had five as Athena (5-6) won its second straight and third in the last five.

“Tre Jackson was a really good spark off the bench,” Setzer noted. “I really credit our bench for getting us back in the game.

“Our starters finished the game well. We went with senior leadership at the end and guys I can trust.”

Trailing 10-4 early in the first quarter, the Barons outscored Athena 14-3 to take their largest lead of the night at 18-13.

Matt Falter led four Barons in double figures with 15 points. Falter’s jumper in the opening moments of the second gave Brighton the five-point edge.

Aidan Lazenby connected four times behind the arc and added 14 points for the Barons (3-7). Lukas Stanat and Olin Stanat had 10 apiece.

Nathan Martin (8), Tyler Ortiz (8) and Sam Zarkowsky (2) rounded out the scoring for Brighton.

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