Clarkstown South continued its trend of dominant second-half performances at home Saturday, pulling away in the third quarter on the way to a 50-34 victory over Pearl River.
"Our guys are a second-half team," Clarkstown South Coach Matt Backs said. "I don't know what it is. Maybe I need to push them harder early in practice. The first few games, the first half is ok and the second half is great."
Pearl River struggled offensively, scoring only 15 points after the break. The Pirates also missed on some opportunities, making only eight of 16 free throw attempts.
"We got pretty bogged down offensively," Pearl River Head Coach Jerry Houston, Jr. said. "Part of that is they did a good job defending us, put a lot of pressure on us. This point in the season, we can't afford the number of turnoves we're having and not converting from the foul line when we get there. It's kind of a bad mix for any team, turnovers and not making from the free throw line."
Pearl River junior forward Kevin Degnan was the only Pirate in double figures with 14 points, but eight of those came in the first quarter.
"I think we did a bad job getting him the ball," Houston said. "I put that on myself more than anything else, not getting him enough touches."
Degnan ended up with the ball on the perimeter more as the game went on.
"He did a really good job in the first half close to (the basket)," Backs said. "He's a Division I player. He's got a great future ahead of him. We just forced him to take difficult shots. If he makes a difficult shot, he's a Division I player. He's supposed to. If he doesn't, our priority is to be in spots to rebound it."
South's other priority is shooting from outside. The Vikings made 10 3-point shots in the game, and outside shooting has been key to the team's 3-0 start.
"We're not big," Backs said. "We're all about the same size. We have to be good at that. We're going to put them in spots and space them out. Twelve out of 15 guys cn probably shoot better than 50 percetn from threes, so if they're open, we're going to take it. We'll just live with what happens."
Joe Zayer led three Clarkstown South players in double digits with 15 points. Thomas Gerlich and Conor McGuinness each had 11.
Pearl River fell to 1-1 heading into Wednesday's game 5:30 p.m. at Ramapo.