By Indrek Kongats

The big ECS maroon machine keeps on rolling as both boys’ and girls’ Varsity basketball teams continue to dominate their opponents and rack up impressive wins. Leading the way for the girls team are Marrissa Hamilton, Linnea Jimerson and Emmalea Erlandson. Their latest victory over Port Allegany on Dec. 22 gives the Lady Eagles a 7-0 record.

Hamilton led all scorers with 19 points and added to that six assists, 14 rebounds and 10 blocks. Jimerson contributed 13 points and eight rebounds, while Erlandson added another nine points and five rebounds. The Lady Eagles’ next home game will be on Jan. 5 against Pine Valley; tip-off is at 7:30 p.m., right after the JV game.

The JV team won their first game of the season, also against Port Allegany 36-24.

In boys’ Varsity action, the Eagles sit at 5-1 for the season with two match ups this week in the Jamestown tournament. On Dec. 21, they rolled over Portville by a score of 63-44. Elliot Bowen led the way with 24 points and 18 rebounds. Following him was Griffin Chudy with 20 points, four assists and six rebounds. Austin Grinols rounded out the scoring with nine points, eight assists and four rebounds.

SBU Hoops

In college hoops Division I, St. Bonaventure men’s team played Canisius College on Dec. 22 in a thrilling and well-played contest at home, but with a not so thrilling outcome— a 101-106 loss in over time. Canisius shot an incredible 94 percent from the charity strip, making 17 of 18 attempts. The 8-5 Bonnie men play next at home on Jan. 3 against Dayton; tip-off time is 8 p.m. at the Reilly Center.

The St. Bonaventure women’s team lost to University at Buffalo, leaving them with a 5-7 record. Mckenna Maycock from Randolph came off the bench and in 23 minutes of playing time, only managed two points and two rebounds in the 47-68 defeat at the hands of the 9-0 Lady Bulls. The next home game for the ladies of Bonaventure is on Jan. 4, also against Dayton. Game time at the Reilly Center is 7 p.m.

Player development tip of the week includes working on aggressive defensive play. Have you ever been nervous when a defender on the other team is playing in your face and you are more concerned of protecting the ball from him then seeing the open man under the basket screaming for the ball? Well, that’s how you also want to play defense— aggressive and in the other guy’s face to make him nervous and focused more on you than seeing his fellow teammates. The trick here is not to get beat by the person that you are trying to guard because you are too close, stopped moving your feet and straightening up.

A good defensive position, on any player that still has their dribble, is to stay low in your stance— about an arm’s length away, close enough to just touch the ball if it gets presented in front of you. You should have one hand high to discourage the pass and one hand low to take away the crossover dribble that can lead to a steal. The real key is in your foot work. Don’t stop your feet from moving by trying to block the dribbler, as soon as those feet stop, the dribbler will blow by you or you will be called for a blocking or reaching foul.

You need to move with a ball handler by directing him to where you want him to go. Move like a fish in a school or a bird in a flock, without making contact and always staying the same arm’s length away and one step ahead in the direction that he has decided to go. This will frustrate him and his focus will be on you and not the open man; it will also keep you out of foul trouble, lead to steals and keep you on the floor because the coach always love players that play good solid defense and create stops!