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Beavers sharp after layoff

CALCUTTA — For the Beaver Local boys basketball team, only playing seven games through Jan. 22 is not an ideal circumstance. However, it was hard to tell on Friday night as the Beavers ran past Edison 70-37 to move to 4-3 on the season.

Beaver Local is just coming off of a 17-day hiatus and two quarantines this season due to COVID-19 protocols.

“It’s been rough,” Beaver Local coach Nick Miller said. “Especially with kids that move as quick as we do, we want to be in shape to move the way we want. It has given us an opportunity to look in the mirror and accept our roles quicker than maybe they would have in the past.”

The Beavers are 2-0 since coming back from their second quarantine. Miller attributes much of this success to the players and their commitment.

“Everything I ask these guys to do, they are getting up and doing it to the best of their ability with no questions asked,” Miller said. “It has been a blessing and it’s been hard to be away from them because they are a great group of kids. I have a lot of expectations for what’s coming down the road.”

On Friday night, the Beavers jumped out to a 24-5 first quarter lead and never looked back. Forcing turnovers and getting points in transition were key for the Beavers.

Nathan Barber led the Beavers with 20 points and Sky Pappas added 14 points. For Edison, Gage Cline led the way with 12 points. Edison did not score until 2:24 left in the first quarter.

“Coach really pushes us in practice and defense is key,” Pappas said. “He wants us to keep it under 40. The lower points we give up, we get bigger wins and we have three wins under 40 points.”

“We are defensive minded,” Miller said. “I have been trying to get the guys to just play to their strengths. We have a couple guys who are real good in transition and finishing so we wanted to make sure we got the ball out to them early rather than later. We have a lot of team speed and when we have the depth and the depth comes in and puts the same kind of intensity in, it makes it fun to watch.”

Pappas agreed with Miller that the Beavers commitment and hardwork has helped them weather the storm.

“We come in the gym everyday knowing that we are going to work hard and coach pushes us,” Pappas said. “We all play together and we all like each other on and off the floor and we all want to come back in the gym. Whenever we are quarantined, coach gives us workouts and we all do workouts that help us and we come back and work even harder.”

For Miller and his coaching staff, they have had to trust the players will work out at home and stay committed.

“It says a lot about their character and their commitment,” Miller said. “I tell them everyday ‘how important is winning to you’ and winning the right way. I gave them a few things to do conditioning wise each day while they are at home and it was on them. We aren’t fully in shape but we are better than I anticipated so hopefully we can keep playing and get on a roll,” Miller said.

When the Beavers are on the court, the teams chemistry and ball movement is at the forefront of Miller’s mind.

“I want us to continue to grow in our trust,” Miller said. “I thought we did a great job sharing the basketball. It makes it easy when things run comfortable to see how we react but I was really pleased with our unselfishness and I want to see more of that. The more people we get in the box score the better off we are.”

Beaver Local will host Wellsville tonight.

Game notes

≤ In jayvee action, Beaver Local won 54-9. For the Beavers, Austin Cline had nine points.

≤ The Beaver Local girls basketball team has now played more than double the games the boys team has.

EDISON: 5- 5-16-11–37

BEAVER: 24-14-18-14–70

EDISON SCORING: Ian Mcbane 2-1-5, Owen Howell 2-0-5, Ethan Wedlake 0-0-0, Brayden Moses 3-1-10, Gage Cline 6-0-12, Luke Grimes 0-0-0, Grady Board 0-0-0, Isaac Zastudil 1-2-4, Ryan Dinger 0-1-1. TEAM TOTALS: 14, 5-15: 34.

BEAVER LOCAL SCORING: Sky Pappas 6-0-14, Nathan Barber 8-3-20, Ethan Agnew 2-0-4, Brady Smith 1-0-2, Dante Ditri 0-2-2, Kadin Wolfe 1-0-2, Ryan Cunningham 2-0-4, Preston Ward 0-0-0, Logan Blissenbach 2-2-6, Austin Cline 4-3-13, Noah Bowyer 0-1-1, Orion Kolkowski 1-0-2, Owen Bzinak 0-0-0, Ethan Stephenson 0-0-0. TEAM TOTALS: 27, 11-14: 70.

Three-point goals: Edison 4 (Moses 3, Howell), Beaver Local 5 (Pappas 2, Cline 2, Barber).

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