Foul-prone Falls boys stumble at the Q

by Jim Isabella | Correspondent Published:

There was something foul Dec. 28 when the Cuyahoga Falls boys basketball team played Green at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

Plagued by fouls all day, the Black Tigers fell to 5-3, losing to the Bulldogs 68-62.

Falls coach Rob Slone had a simple explanation for what happened.

"We were in foul trouble all day and we were never able to get into an offensive flow," Slone said. "The official who was calling at the fouls seemed to be under the basket all the time until the fourth quarter when the officials seem to do a better job rotating."

To be clear, Slone did not blame the official, but was merely making an observation matter-of-factly.

For the game, Green went to the foul line 47 times, hitting 33 free throws. What's more, 28 of those foul shots came in the fourth quarter.

Backing Slone's observation about official rotation, the Black Tigers went 19-of-23 from the charity stripe.

As a result of the fouls called, Jay Slone, Devin Speicher and Matt Lawrence fouled out of the game and three other players ended up with four fouls.

Josh Ricker carried the offense, scoring 25 points. Angelo Cugini finished with 13 points and Speicher had 10 points.

"Jay only played about six minutes and the foul problems meant a lot of guys having to go heavy minutes with the game on the line," Slone said. "Our goal is to win the league and we need to have everyone available."

Falls is coming up on a busy schedule with four games in eight days, beginning with a trip to Twinsburg Jan. 4 (results were not available at press time).

Falls will next see action Jan. 8 at Copley. Varsity tip time is set for 7:30 p.m.

"We put Copley on the schedule this year. Part of the reason is to get an opportunity to play on their floor where the [district] tournament is played," Slone said.

On Jan. 11, the Black Tigers host Solon and the next day play at Brush in a pair of NOC games.

Email: mleonard@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9442

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