When on the road in a hostile environment, getting off to a fast start is every visiting team’s goal. When the Bellmore JFK Cougars started with a 9-0 run to silence the Sewanhaka Indians’ crowd, it looked like the game would end in a blowout.
It did end in a blowout, but the visiting Cougars were on the wrong end of it.
Sewanhaka got 30 points and 15 rebounds from Carlos Bodden, and the Indians surged in the second half to beat the Cougars 57-38 on Tuesday night in a Conference A-1 clash.
“They did a good job of slowing us down in the first half,” Sewanhaka head coach Jay Allen said after the game. “In the second half, we made some adjustments and we were able to get out and run against those guys. That’s what really changed the game.”
Sewanhaka (3-5, 1-0 Conference) struggled out of the gate, but Bodden was able to keep the Indians close in the first half. Bodden had all seven Indians points in the first quarter, and added six more in the second quarter to keep the game close as Bellmore JFK (3-5, 0-1 Conference) took a 21-17 lead into halftime.
“All the credit is to him, he really saved us, especially in the first half,” coach Allen said of Bodden. “He was really a leader tonight.”
In the third quarter, the Indians defense stepped up and the offense kept scoring to put the game out of reach. Sewanhaka’s Kamoy Silvera got fouled while making a layup, giving him a shot at a three-point play and giving the crowd something to cheer about. Although Silvera missed the free throw, Bellmore JFK couldn’t get back in the game.
“I was just following through with the game plan and listening to everything coach said,” Bodden said of the second half. “We picked up the intensity.”
As the third quarter was winding down, Bodden ran the length of the court, and made a pass to Luke Iandoli, who got fouled while shooting with one-second left in the quarter. Iandoli made both free throws to finish off a quarter where Sewanhaka outscored Bellmore JFK 24-4.
Early the fourth quarter, Elijah Tracey got a steal for the Indians and found Bodden open under the basket for an easy layup to extend the Indians lead to 22. A Zach Eisner three-pointer made the game a little closer for the Cougars, but they couldn’t climb all the way back.
As time was winding down, coach Allen emptied his bench. Late in the game, Mikal Pressley came off the bench and scored for the Indians, sending the home crowd into a frenzy.
“He is a kid that doesn’t play a lot. It’s just good that the fans get involved for guys who don’t get as much playing time,” Allen said. “Our fans were great today. They brought so much energy to the game.”
Eric Pauly had 10 points to lead Bellmore JFK. Jared Nossen and Josh Wexler contributed six points each in the defeat.
The teams will meet again this season, with the rematch at Bellmore JFK taking place on Jan. 23 at 7 p.m.