WARRENSBURG - The Warrensburg high school boys basketball team has so far endured a disappointing season, but a game they played Dec. 30 confirmed with fans that the team has considerable talent and is poised for a turnaround.
In a matchup against Mayfield, the Burghers jumped out to an early lead and kept in control of the game, never yielding the scoring tilt.
Warrensburg beat Mayfield 55-50, although Mayfield fought back to within one point in the final few minutes.
Warrensburg Coach Rich Schloss said his team played their best defensive game of the year, while racking up plenty of baskets.
The contest was the consolation game of the Schenectady Christian annual tournament.
"The players kept their hands up and worked together," he said. "Their very feisty defense was responsible for winning the game - the kids played hard."
Starting senior Tom Holmgren was on vacation, but the other players stepped up to compensate, Schloss said.
"Sophomore Mike Curtis really broke loose and had a good game," Schloss said.
Curtis hit a couple of critical free throws in the fourth quarter which retained the lead and kept up the Burgher momentum.
Schloss said he was particularly pleased, because the team has been struggling with their foul shooting this year. Also performing on offense was Mike Perrone who tore down the middle and hit a key shot late in the game to keep the lead at 3 points. Curtis finished the game with 13 points, and Perrone scored 10. The balanced effort included senior Jordan Webster with 9, junior Brendan Frye with 8, and sophomore Ryan Belden with 7. Mayfield's D.J. Hoagboon was top scorer in the game with 23 points.
Schloss said the Burgher players' group chemistry is beginning to develop, and the team is now showing great promise for the remainder of the season.
"The game against Mayfield demonstrated the team's potential," he said. "Things are starting to come together."
Tuesday, the team was scheduled to compete against Whitehall. Friday, the team goes up against talented upcounty rivals North Warren.
"Our hopes are up for the rest of the season," Schloss said. "If we stay focused, we'll be very competitive."