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MANLIUS — Thing’s started out a bit ugly for both the Bureau Valley and Fulton boys basketball teams, but aggressive play on offense and key rebounding spurred a big fourth quarter as the Storm earned a 57-49 Three Rivers Athletic Conference victory.
“Wow, the only thing I can say about that first quarter is it was ugly for both teams,” Storm coach Jason Marquis said. “I was very happy with our defensive effort, but the guys really responded big after that against a tough Fulton team.”
The teams were tied at 37-37 to start the fourth quarter when Jordan Monier made a strong move into the lane to give the Storm a 39-37 lead.
Moments later, Hunter Klemme drained a long 3-pointer to put the Storm up by five. Tommy Johnston then hit a 3-pointer to put the Storm up 45-39.
The aggressive Storm play at both ends of the court put the Steamers in foul trouble in the second half and seemed to wear them out down the stretch.
“I think being aggressive and things like that are starting to show on the court because everyone is starting to buy into the system,” Marquis said. “The more comfortable you are with what you’re doing on the court the easier it makes what we are trying to accomplish, and when that happens you can be more aggressive at both ends and on rebounding. We had several guys hit the boards tonight, not just one or two.”
Fulton was not about to go quietly though as Nick Fish drove to the basket and got a layup to go to cut the Storm lead to 49-44.
Brian Lange had a nice fourth quarter for the Storm as he hit his foul shots and scored on a stick back.
From there the Bureau Valley defense stayed strong and finished off the game it trailed 6-4 after the first quarter.
In the second, Fish quickly hit a long-range from behind the arc to push the lead to 11-4.
Fulton took advantage of one of the few times it beat the Storm up the floor and made it a 15-10 lead after a Matt Dail layup.
After a timeout, Bureau Valley got a beautiful pass from Lange to Monier for a bucket, and a few moments later, Parker Newhalfen hit a step back 3-pointer to briefly give BV an 18-17 lead.
The two teams traded baskets on their next possessions before Zack Barber hit a 3-pointer as the half ended to give the Steamers a 23-20 halftime lead.
Bureau Valley missed a few bunny shots to start the third quarter and the Steamers took advantage as TJ Huizenga hit a 3-pointer and John Widener had a nice up-and-under move for a 33-28 lead.
But the Storm rallied.
Johnston continued his solid game, hitting a pair of free throws and two jump shots to go along with a 3-pointer from Neuhalfen to help BV tie the game entering the fourth quarter.
Johnston led all scorers with 20 points, while Newhalfen added 16. Monier had eight points and a game-high nine rebounds. Widener led the Steamers with 12 points.