“They started really coming out on the 3-point shot,” Brushy coach Blaine Christopher said.
“We were hitting a lot of 3s in the first half, and then when they brought that zone out and they spread it out, they kind of nullified us.”
Frink reserve Zac Lerblance later came up with a steal and turned it into two free throws. The Falcons tied the game 32-32 with 30 seconds left in the third quarter when Tanner Rowland came up with a steal and got it to Amos on a fastbreak.
Frink guard Noah Cook’s 3-pointer broke the tie 48 seconds into the fourth quarter, and the Falcons never relinquished that lead. Cheater went 1-for-2 at the line on Brushy’s next possession, but later in the fourth Rowland blocked a Brushy shot and fired a fullcourt pass to Amos for a fastbreak layup and a 37-33 Falcons lead.
Amos led the Falcons with 14 points.
“A lot of times, he’s so athletic, his brain can’t keep up with his feet,” Belt said of Amos. “He’s so athletic. You oughta see him on a track field; he’s an amazing athlete.”
Frink blocked another shot on Brushy’s next possession, and though the play didn’t lead to any Falcons points, it kept the clock rolling and the Mountaineers frustrated.
Though the Falcons struggled with interior defense in the first half, fouling too much and getting boxed out too often, that improved along with their perimeter defense in the second half. With Slater leading the way, the Falcons allowed far fewer second-half offensive rebounds and turned their first-half fouls into clean blocks.
“We started fronting, or at least played to the side instead of behind, and he was a lot more physical that second half,” Belt said of Slater. “That was a game-changer, because they were getting the ball to the inside and working to the outside, and we stopped that.”