CUYAHOGA FALLS: The first basket of the game was a 3-pointer at the top of the key from the tallest player on the court.
From that point on, it was 6-foot-7 Angelo Cugini and Cuyahoga Falls’ game in a 67-44 victory over visiting Revere on Tuesday night.
After Cugini’s 3-pointer to start it off, the Black Tigers (9-4) went on a 10-2 run and were poised to put the game away early.
But the young Minutemen (1-12) didn’t let the early deficit get to them as they responded with a 10-2 run themselves, with 3-pointers by guards Dylan Seikel and Teddy Hughes followed by a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Jordan Holtkamp to tie the score at 12-12 to end the first quarter.
“We showed a lot of resiliency, we bounced back,” Revere coach Dean Rahas said. “We got down early and little by little we climbed our way back into it. The shot by Jordan was huge.”
But the Black Tigers didn’t let the big shot slow their momentum. They came right back out and scored first in the second quarter, never giving up the lead for the rest of the game.
“We’ve played some really good teams, we don’t let one situation or shot dictate how the game’s going to turn out,” Falls coach Rob Slone said.
“If that shot happened at the end of the third quarter it might have been a different story. But I’ve always preached that it’s better to be down early than down late and I think my kids showed that.”
Revere continued to battle in the second quarter, and the Minutemen cut the deficit to three points at halftime.
The second half was a different story. The Black Tigers outscored Revere 19-10 in the third quarter and 23-12 in the fourth.
“In the first half we came out a little flat, but I thought the kids responded well in the second half,” Slone said. “Revere is scrappy, they’re not going to go away.”
The second-half charge was led by Cugini, who displayed a versatile offensive attack, scoring both inside and from the perimeter. He made two 3-pointers and several deep jump shots and still contributed under the basket, grabbing 10 rebounds.
Cugini led all scorers with 24 points.
Cugini and the size of the rest of the Black Tigers was one of the main reasons they were able to control the pace of the game in the second half.
They outrebounded Revere 24-12.
“You can’t get outrebounded 2 to 1 and expect to win,” Rahas said. “It’s just not going to happen.”
Pacing the Minutemen with 15 points was freshman guard Teddy Hughes, the lone freshman on a young team with only one senior on its varsity roster.
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