Valley boys basketball routed by rival

Cowboys defeat Indians 63-43

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Spencer Goldstein

Senior Ryan Thomas waits to inbound as the bench looks on.

Spencer Goldstein and Willy Higgins

Significant size disadvantage and turnovers led to Pascack Valley’s unraveling in its 63-43 loss Saturday at Pascack Hills.

The Indians kept the game close in the first quarter behind a pair of three-pointers by senior guard Ryan Thomas; however, turnovers reared their ugly head as the Indians were called for three travelling violations in the first quarter alone.

The lack of ball control started to appear on the scoreboard in the second quarter, as Hills was able to capitalize on Valley’s mistakes and outscore the Indians 22-11 in the frame. On the offensive end, the Cowboys were able to do damage from all over the floor, giving them a 37-21 lead at halftime.

“We faced a team that not only had a good inside game, but a good outside game [too],” head coach Al Coleman said. “We [tried to] pick our poison and double down on the low block, but they were able to kick it out and make a lot of threes.”

Thomas continued to be Valley’s biggest bright spot, letting it fly from deep and knocking down six threes on 11 attempts. In total, he finished with 24 points – Valley’s only player to reach double-digits.

“Ryan’s a very focused young man so I don’t think [continuing to play well] will be a problem with him,” Coleman said. “I think he can build off this like he’s done all year and [continue to] shoot the basketball well.”

Valley’s lack of size consistently proved to be a deterrent, as the Cowboys had their way in the paint on both ends of the court. Hills was led by senior big men Christian Kim and Jason Schulman, who combined for 24 points on 10 of 17 shooting. On the other hand, junior Austin Koolery–Valley’s tallest player and often its leading scorer– was eerily quiet, held to just two points.

“[Size played a] huge [role],” Coleman said. “I think we were giving away at least five inches and probably about 40 pounds per man. [But] that’s who we are and my job is to get them better.”

With the loss, the Indians fell to 2-9 on the year. They’ll travel to Bergenfield on Tuesday to take on the Bears (3-7) as both teams look to get back in the win column.