Falcons Lose First Game, but Finish Strong in PSIT

Michael Peters '16, Managing Editor

This past weekend did not end the way the Falcons wanted it to. At the annual Peddie School Invitational Tournament (PSIT), the boys basketball team could not complete a third straight championship run, but there were many positives taken out of the tournament.

The Falcons lost to the Gilman School (MD) by a score of 64-62 on Dec. 11, Friday night. Despite trailing for most of the game, the deficit was never large, and the Falcons made a comeback late, eventually tying the game at 62. However, a late foul call sent Gilman to the line, where they converted on one of their two shots. With under twenty seconds left, Peddie drove down, the court, but couldn’t come up with a basket that would have put them in the lead. Jeremiah Ferguson ’16 led the Falcons with 23 points, and Dan Largey ’16 and Tyler Jones ’17 added double-digits as well.

On Saturday, the Falcons played in the 3:45 PM game against their MAPL rival, the Lawrenceville Big Red. While the community was disappointed from Friday’s loss, the opponent in Saturday’s game added an extra significance for Peddie. In another close game reminiscent to Friday’s, the Falcons trailed late before making a run and regaining the lead with under a minute left. However, the Big Red were able to score a basket of their own, leaving fifteen seconds on the clock. This time, the Falcons were able to take a one-point lead on an accidental tip-in by a Lawrenceville player, and held on to win the game, 59-58. Largey led all scorers with 19 points, and Ferguson and Jones once again posted double-digits in the points column.

In the Falcons’ final game of the tournament on Sunday morning, they coasted to a 76-60 victory against Life Center and a fifth place finish in the tournament of eight. The Falcons led the entire game, and seemed much more in control compared to their first two games. Largey scored exactly half of the team’s points with 38, and Ferguson and Jones added 14 and 13, respectively.

Coach Joe Rulewich was happy with his team’s play and saw some major differences as the weekend progressed.

“We made huge strides this weekend in our transition defense making sure we got back to protect the basket,” Rulewich said. “On Sunday we fully committed to sharing the basketball.”

Largey echoed Rulewich’s assessment.

“During [Sunday’s] game, our key focus was to make the extra pass to open up shots for our teammates,” Largey explained. Both he and Rulewich believe that the team still needs to work on their rebounding, which is somewhat difficult because they are one of the “smaller teams in the MAPL” according to Largey and tend to have a fast pace of play.

As usual, the tournament was a fun event for the entire team.

“It was truly one of the most competitive and entertaining weekends I personally have had during my basketball career,” Largey said.

Friday-night opponent Gilman was the runner-up of the tournament, with the Kiski School winning the championship. Largey was named to the All-Tournament Team. The Falcons head to the Hill School this Friday for the annual Mercer Tournament.