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Briarcliff Dominates Westlake in First 2012 Game

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. – Briarcliff boys' basketball played its first game on Friday since a Dec. 22 win against Rye Neck.

Rust was not a problem.

Briarcliff raced out to a 12-4 lead after the first quarter and led by 23 at halftime en route to a 64-36 rout of Westlake. Head coach Brendan Coxen said the team’s several scrimmage games during the break helped keep them in game shape.

“I wasn’t really concerned,” Coxen said. “We kept these guys fresh. We played a lot of basketball. I felt that we were confident and these guys are always ready to go.”

The Bears have won their last three games and are starting to get on a roll heading into the meat of the league portion of the schedule.

“Anytime you put a couple of wins together, confidence just builds up,” Coxen said.

Briarcliff spread the ball, and the points, around Friday night. No Bear scored in double digits, but five players had eight points, including Jared Jones, Tyriek Johnson, Brian Daniels, Paul Henshaw and Ray Shuttenberg. Ten Briarcliff players in total scored on Friday.

The Bears led 51-25 at the end of the third quarter and opened up their largest lead of the game at 64-29 with a little more than 3:00 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Coxen was not pleased that Westlake outrebounded Briarcliff, but the coach was generally impressed with his team’s defensive effort on Friday. He said it helped that some of the balls did not bounce Westlake’s way.

“We played great defensively,” Coxen said. “I saw some things that we’ve been working on and it really showed on the court.”

As for Westlake, the schedule shows them no mercy. The Wildcats, who were 6-1 coming into Friday’s game, follow up the 7 p.m. game Friday with a noon game against John Jay on Saturday at Brewster High School.

“The key is, as we just told them here, this game is over,” Westlake coach Steve Pesick said. “This game was over at halftime. We didn’t let them play like that, but this game was over at halftime and we’ve got to start thinking right now about tomorrow.”

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