Boys’ basketball: Bow controls game in road win over John Stark

  • Bow forward Owen Petretta (23) reaches for the ball as John Stark guard Hayden Pond defends during the second half on Thursday night. GEOFF FORESTER photos / Monitor staff

  • Bow forward Mark Folsom cradles the ball as he tries to keep it away from John Stark forward Dwayne Johnson, while Bow guard Hunter Duncan looks on as the referee calls for a jump ball.

  • Bow forward Owen Petretta (23) calls for the ball in the paint as John Stark guard Hayden Pond defends during the second half on Thursday night. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 1/14/2022 8:37:20 AM

Owen Petretta stood near the block with his back toward the basket and arms spread out as wide as they could go as the first quarter neared its end.

The senior forward’s eyes darted in every direction the ball went, all while maintaining his position defending Bow’s basket.

With his arms still open, he emphatically shouted “defense first” to his teammates and moments later proceeded to grab the rebound, take the ball up the court and draw a shooting foul.

From that moment on the Falcons, who had a slow start, never looked back as they cruised to a 65-43 final at John Stark.

In the first eight minutes of the game, the Generals came out on a mission. Led by junior guard Dylan Grivois, the Generals took the court with a sense of confidence on both ends of the floor. They grabbed rebounds for put-back opportunities and forced the Falcons into a pass-heavy style of play where they couldn’t get the ball underneath.

Grivois, who ended the night with 18 points, hit two three-pointers and it looked as if John Stark would give Bow a long night. Frustrated, Falcons’ coach Scott Drapeau called a timeout with his team down 10-4 in an effort to alert his players to do the simple things; rebound, run the system and communicate on defense.

With that timeout and Petretta’s plea, Bow took over the game. Never a permanent starting five, the Falcons bench gave plenty of production to close out the first half with Hunter Duncan and Mark Folsom providing a spark to the tune of 14 combined points – including three three-pointers from Duncan.

The Falcons (5-6) carried that same style of play into the second half as they outscored their hosts 34-21 in the second half.

“It was a total team effort tonight,” Drapeau said. “They saw how efficient the system can be and they’re doing a good job of it.”

Both programs are trending in opposite directions. John Stark (0-10) has shown moments of strong basketball, like it did in the first quarter, but struggles to formulate any form of consistency, according to coach Mike Smith.

The Generals are in the midst of a rebuilding year both on and off the court. More than 40 kids tried out ahead of this season per Smith, but he’s challenged his young team to get over the hump of being able to say they made varsity.

“We’re struggling a little bit right now,” Smith said. “And when guys start to struggle, bad habits start to come out and we saw that tonight.”

Bow’s case, however, is an upward trajectory that will go as far as the team continues to buy into the system and believe in one another. As the season has gone on, Drapeau has seen the program go from one experiencing growing pains to one that wants to take the court against any team at any place.

“Teams aren’t built in December, they’re built in January,” he said.

Each team still has a handful of games left to either turn the season around or maintain the status quo and elevate its position in the ranks amongst other teams in Division II.

The Generals’ next game is on Saturday when they travel to Manchester West for a 12:30 p.m. tip-off. The Falcons will take the court on Saturday as well, only they will be at home as they host Pelham with a 5 p.m. start.

Matt Parker bio photo

Matt Parker is a sports reporter at the Monitor and started in August 2021. He is an Ohio native and relishes being from the Buckeye state. A proud graduate of Ohio University located in Athens, Ohio, he served as the sports editor for the student-run newspaper, The Post, from 2019-20. When not at a game or chasing around a coach, you can catch him playing his guitars or looking for the next Peanuts memorabilia piece to add in his growing collection.

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