By Gerardo Bolong
Foster searched for ways to crack the Fife zone defense.

Fife fells Foster

By Gerardo Bolong

FIFE - Total intensity and defense joined forces for Fife to topple Foster 65-43 in a first-round Class 2A sub-district boys basketball tiff on Tues., Feb. 11 at Fife High School..

"Tonight, the bottom line was we weren't physical enough," said Bulldog head coach Isaac Tucker. "Fife's intensity and defense were tough to match. They had five defensive players, but sometimes it seemed like there were seven players out there. They were just a better team, tonight."

This match showcased four essential stages for much of the first half the teams punched at each other toe to toe with Ben Mitchell's three-pointer squaring the score the score at 20-20 as 1:12 remained in the first half.

"In playoff basketball it's about intensity," Tucker added. "We matched their intensity most of the first half."

The Trojans then barreled to half time, triggered by three converted free throws after a foul while shooting from beyond the arc and an offensive rebound bucket before intensifying their efforts even more with a 13-2 scoring blitz to open the second half for an 40-22 command.

"We gave up a foolish foul on a three-point shot and an easy basket after that in their (7-0) run to halftime," continued Tucker. "They also opened the third quarter with great intensity."

After seeing their shots go awry and being unable to rebound consistently, Bulldogs regrouped to carve away the 18-point deficit as 2:43 showed in the third quarter. Senior wing Cory Covarrubia fired home a three-pointer followed Mitchell's down the lane bucket. Covarrubia banked home another hoop to lessen the lead to 11 points with 53 seconds left in the third quarter, but the extreme effort needed to fight back finally took a heavy toll on Foster.

"I was looking for good (player) combinations, and we hit," said Tucker. "Our intensity came up and we pushed the pace to create score-stop (on defense) - score situations."

Fife gradually built up its advantage to 20 points in the fourth and eventually won going away.

"It just took a lot of energy to come back from such a deep hole," coach Tucker concluded. "We can beat this team, but not tonight."

Mitchell paced Foster with 11 points while Isaiah Lewis was also in double figures at 10. Ronnie Roberson and Covarrubia each notched 7 points followed by Connor Forsyth (4), Max Montoya (2) and Rashad Sang (2).

Four players were in double figures for Fife with Alex Lemoncelli at 16. Other players in double figures were Austin Woods (15), Jephtha Donkor (12) and Isaiah Kelly (11).

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