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Harrison Loses Season Opener Against Pelham

PELHAM, N.Y. – Harrison boys’ basketball coach Gary Chiarella said a team should aim to have 10 to 12 turnovers in a given game.

So having 10 in one quarter was not exactly ideal.

The Pelham Pelicans (2-3) forced 10 turnovers in the third quarter and played lockdown defense in the fourth to earn a 55-39 victory over the Huskies (0-1) in a non-league matchup at the Pelham Middle School gymnasium on Tuesday.

“When you turn the ball over 10 times, they’re going to get easy baskets off that,” Chiarella said. “It was just not a good third quarter.

Pelham outscored Harrison 16-5 in the fourth quarter to bury the Huskies in what had been a back-and-forth matchup for the first three quarters.

Pelham coach Mark Finegan praised his team’s effort toward the end of the game, particularly the pressure that forced the numerous turnovers.

“Tommy (Schiaroli) really sparked us on defense,” Finegan said. “We just decided to defend. I think that the ball pressure frazzled them a little bit.”

Chiarella agreed. “Once they started pressuring the ball, we fell apart,” Chiarella said. “They took us out of our offensive flow.”

Matt Henson was the star for the Pelicans on Tuesday on both ends of the court. He led the team in scoring, rebounds and steals.

Pelham led 17-9 with under five minutes to play in the first half, but Harrison took advantage of several Pelicans fouls to go on a 17-7 run to take a 26-24 lead into the break.

The Pelicans then came up with opportune steals and went on an 11-1 run through the end of the third quarter and into the fourth to take a 43-34 lead. Lance Stokes’ dunk off of a steal at the beginning of the final quarter made the Pelican fans jump out of their seats.

Finegan called timeout in the third quarter and challenged his team to play with more intensity. His plan worked, but he does not want to have to resort to that in the future.

“There’s 18 games in a season,” Finegan said. “I can’t be screaming and yelling and calling timeouts every game.”

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