Making strides

The Falconer-Frewsburg Bears used a big fourth quarter to hold off the Dunkirk Marauders (1-11, 0-4), 65-55, Wednesday in CCAA West I boys high school basketball.

Tied, 42-all, the visitors drained three of their nine 3-pointers in the final frame to spark the 23-13 run.

“We can’t seem to play four quarters,” Dunkirk coach Steve O’Brien said. “We played pretty well, but for some reason, our offense went stagnant. They started to hit some shots and we had to fight that uphill battle. The effort is there. They leave everything on the floor and play hard. It will be fun to turn that corner.”

The visitors took a 17-12 lead after the first quarter, but the Marauders cut into the deficit by halftime as they trailed, 27-25. The Marauders then outscored Falconer-Frewsburg, 17-15, to set up the decisive fourth quarter.

Of Dunkirk’s 17 points in the third frame, Isiah Thomas scored 13 of his team-high 19 points.

“Isiah is a sophomore and is coming along,” O’Brien said. “We challenged him to get aggressive and he responded. He went hard to the hole.”

The Bears were led by Josh Nelson’s 21 points. Michael Wilcox contributed with 19 points and Kyle Peterson added 10 for the winners.

“They started making shots,” O’Brien said of the Bears. “They have good guard play. They turned our turnovers into points. They got the lead and we had to start fouling. They made six free throws in a row to end the game and keep us at bay.”

Dunkirk’s Tyler Kubasik added 11 points while Michael Bess finished with 10 points and six rebounds. Thomas also had seven rebounds, including three offensive boards, and Esmond Colvin grabbed 11 rebounds in a losing effort.