Pinkerton's front line goes 6'5", 6'6" and 6'7", and they were going up against a Dover team whose biggest kid for most of the game was either 6'1" or 6'2". The Astros took advantage by pounding the basketball inside and dominating the boards. 6'7" sophomore forward Luke Rosinski had a game-high 23 points, 6'6" junior forward David Faulks had 17, both players had over 10 rebounds, 6'5" junior forward Ryan Burke played tough defense, holding Karim Winn (who averaged 30 points per game in Dover's last 3 contests) to just 16, plus made some great passes and 6'5" junior forward Caleb Godin came off the bench to score 12 points in the 1st half.
Pinkerton didn't hit a shot beyond 15 feet of the basket but they didn't need to. Dover put up a good fight, but came up empty 65-58 as Pinkerton improves to 3-2 and Dover falls to 0-5.
"Rosinski was a beast" said Dover head coach Mike Romps. "We knew they were going to go inside, that's the strength. We tried to take that away but didn't do a good enough job of it. They played to their strength better than we played to ours."
It was all Pinkerton early, as the Astros went on a 12-0 run during the 1st quarter to go up 17-4. Rosinski set the tone early, going hard after an offensive rebound, used a power dribble and went up with a strong lefty finish through contact. Burke made a couple of great dishes early, one to Rosinski who got to the line, and the other to Faulks for a layup. Then Rosinski caught the ball just inside the foul line, made a power dribble to get closer and then threw down a two handed slam dunk in traffic. Did I mention he's 6'7" and only a sophomore. Yeah, he's for real.
Right after that Faulks makes a quick steal and Godin banks in a jumper in close as PA goes up 11-4 and Coach Romps calls timeout. The run continued for Pinkerton though, as Faulks converted a put-back, the Astros block a shot at the other end, then Rosinski hits a leaner along the baseline. Romps calls another timeout, then Burke caps the run with a smooth turnaround jumper from 15 feet away (as deep a shot as Pinkerton hit all game).
Finally Winn ended the run, slashing to the rim through the whole PA defense and finishing in traffic with his off-hand. Winn is a very good player, and was able to score off the dribble and on put-backs. But his shot was definitely off this game, as he went 0/7 from 3-point range.
"We knew Winn was their best scorer, so we really focused on stopping him" said Pinkerton head coach Peter Rosinski, who is Luke's father (and no, that's not a Star Wars reference). "Ryan Burke did a real nice job defending him. He is 6'5" and very quick, Ryan is one of our defensive specialists."
Senior guard Mike Wasserman stepped up for Dover, hitting three 3-pointers and making some tough drives to the rim en route to a team-high 21 points.
"We needed that, we needed a second or third guy to step up to take the scoring load off Karim" said Romps. Karim averaged 30 points over the past 3 games, but tonight was a tough game for him. He missed some shots early and then started pressing."
It was 19-6 Pinkerton after 1 but the 2nd quarter was all Dover. Winn showed good strength and athleticism on a put-back to try and get the Green Wave going. Burke continued to do the little things for PA, making another great pass on one end, then making a nice block on the other. Wasserman hit a 3-pointer, then Winn drained a pair of free throws and Wasserman converted a put-back to cap an 15-2 run by Dover to start the 2nd quarter. Just like that we were all tied up 21-21.
"Matt Mulcahy showed us what Dover's all about" said Romps. "He got us back in it. He Dover on the floor, then he dove on the floor again, and again."
Godin put an end to the run, scoring inside to put PA back up 23-21. Just seconds later though Dover tied it back up on a shot inside by sophomore Kylani Lafleur and it was 23-23. Winn hustled back on transition defense to make an acrobatic block. Rosinski and Faulks both picked up 2 fouls in the 2nd quarter and had to sit, so Godin went in and did a great job filling in as he scored a couple more buckets late in the half. Wasserman ended the half with an explosive drive to the rim and finish, and it was 27-26 Pinkerton at halftime.
The 3rd quarter was hard fought, with the Astros leading but Dover hanging tough. Faulks made another strong put-back, then Rosinski made a good post move, using a drop step and lefty finish as PA went up 32-26. Wasserman answered back with a nice floater to cut the lead to 32-28.
The front line of Burke, Rosinski and Faulks was really started to dominate the boards, they were just too big for Dover. Senior guard Anthony Lupi hit a 3, then Winn showed a nice effort by following his own miss for 2. Still, Pinkerton had a commanding 42-33 lead. Just then Jordan Lyndes hit a big 3-pointer off an extra pass by Winn to cut the lead to 42-36. Rosinski was really attacking the rim hard, and he scored 11 of his 23 points in the 3rd quarter. Still, Dover was right in the game only down 45-41 headed to the 4th quarter.
Faulks again went to work on the offensive glass, making a put-back to put the Astros up 47-41. Wasserman answered with a 3-pointer, and it was back to a 1 possession game, 47-44. Rosinski made another good move though, with a power dribble left and banking in the shot. That was followed by inside shots by sophomore guard Matt Rizzo and Faulks, as PA now led 55-44 and was pulling away.
Just then Wasserman hit another clutch 3 to keep the Green Wave alive, now trailing 55-47. Faulks again scored inside and the lead was back up to double digits, 57-47 with just 3:48 left. Then Rosinski made the play that was possibly the dagger - catching the inbounds pass on a baseline out of bounds play with a defender all over him, facing up from the wing, dribbles twice and goes right up into his shot, hitting a 15 footer to put the Astros up 59-47 with just 2:38 remaining.
Again though, Dover refused to give up. Winn made a pair of quick buckets to try and keep his team in it. His second score was an and-1, but after that it was still 60-51 PA with just 1:38 left. Lafleur hit a 3 from the top of the key to cut the lead to 64-58 with 9 seconds to play. Lafleur is only a sophomore but showed some nice flashes in this game. He's 6'2", long, athletic, played hard on 'D', attacked the rim and also hit the outside shot.
Pinkerton held on from there for the 65-58 win. With Rosinski only being a sophomore and Burke, Godin and Faulks only being juniors this could be a scary team next year for sure. Plus Drew Green and Sam Dolan are only juniors and Rizzo and Brennan Morris are only sophomores. That's right, their top 4 players are all coming back, and only 1 of their top 9 players is a senior. Yeah, these guys will be very dangerous next year.