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Bristol boys basketball is struggling with transition game

Bristol juniors Dayeshawn Cortez (30) and Eric Bell (5) scramble for the loose ball along with DelCo Christian junior Tyler Penley in the Dick Dougherty Tournament December 2016 at Bensalem High School. (Steve Sherman – 21st-Century Media)

BRISTOL BOROUGH, Pa. – Over at Bristol, first-year head coach Jerry Devine has his work cut out for him bringing the current group of Warriors up to speed on the hardwood.

In addition to losing starters Ronnie Garrison – the leading scorer last season – and Parker Kelley to graduation, Bristol lost point guard Carter Kelley, who transferred to Truman and forward Anthony McClintock, who transferred to Neshaminy.

“We’re inconsistent,” said Devine.

“At times, we look good, defensively – running around, turning people over.

“But we’re hurting ourselves with turnovers.

“Everyone looks good in drills; I just don’t know when that is going to translate into a game experience.”

The good news is that 6-1 senior Dayeshawn Cortez is back for his final season in a Warriors’ uniform. Cortez has led Bristol in all three battles – a 56-47 triumph over Bicentennial Athletic League (BAL) rival Morrisville Dec. 9 in the Coaches vs. Cancer Tipoff Tournament and a pair of losses to Plumstead Christian.

Seniors Austin Funair and Alex Jerbo have also returned to the lineup. While Jerbo recorded some minutes at the point last season, he did not get a significant amount of time at the position. Currently, the Warriors are counting on Jerbo, Cortez and classmate Samir Brisbon at that spot.

“Samir came over from football and the guys are looking to him for leadership and he’s doing a good job with that,” explained Devine.

“But he’s not really a point guard and right now, we don’t really have a true point guard.

“We don’t have that one guy who can handle the ball and get everyone set up.”

Fortunately for the Warriors, Bristol received an influx of talent from junior varsity and the injury list. Released from the ranks of the walking wounded last year is 6-3 junior Kevin Farrell. Stepping up from JV is 6-foot senior Jarvis Zyvonoski and 6-4 junior Aaron Clark.

Clark registered 14 points in the Warriors’ 65-51 season-opening loss to Plumstead, a battle in which the Panthers pasted a 14-5 scoring string on Bristol in the second-quarter to pull away 30-18 at the half. The Warriors were able to cut their deficit down to single digits with 19 points in the third period but could draw no closer.

Jerbo came through with seven points in the tipoff game and Brisbon recorded five points in the ensuing matchup in Plumsteadville, though no one else is coming up with any significant points.

“At times, our pressure game is giving opponents fits,” said Devine. “At others, we’re losing sight of our man and giving up easy baskets.

Facing the Panthers Dec. 12 on Easton Road, Bristol cut the deficit down to four points when Plumstead hit back-to-back 3-pointers to stretch the home team’s lead back to 10.

“They had a couple guys who shots when they needed them,” said Devine.

The Warriors then cut the lead to six and got a steal. But Bristol missed the ensuing layup and the Panthers cashed in at the other end to stretch their lead back to eight.

“We have to rely on our transition game and getting out quick on the dribble,” explained Devine. “And Samir is pretty good at that.

“Other than him, we are struggling to get out on offense.”

Next, the Warriors host Faith Christian Academy Dec. 19 at home and also host Devon Prep Dec. 21.

The New Year starts Thursday, Jan. 4 at Calvary Baptist.

Contact Steve Sherman at ssherman@21st-Centurymedia.com or @BucksLocalSport on Twitter

BRISTOL BOYS BASKETBALL 2017-18 SCHEDULE

Friday    12/08/17              Plumstead Christian (Tip Off Classic)                       Home    6:00 PM

Saturday              12/09/17              Morrisville (Tip Off Classic)                           Home    1:30 PM

Tuesday               12i12/17               *Plumstead Christian School                       Away     7:00 PM

Tuesday               12/19/17′             *Faith Christian Academy                             Home    7:00PM

Thursday             12/21/17              *Devon Preparatory School                        Home    7:00PM

Thursday             01/04/18              “Calvary Baptist Schools,                               Away     7:00 PM

Friday    01/05/18              *Valley Forge Military Academy                                Away     7:00 PM

Monday               01/08/18              *Calvary Christian Academy                        Home    7:00PM

Tuesday               01/09/18              *Lower Moreland High School                   Away     7:00 PM

Friday    01/12/18              *Holy Ghost Prep School                              Home    7:00PM

Tuesday               01/16/18              *Christian Academy, The                              Away     7:00 PM

Friday    01/19/18              *CFS, The School at Church Farm                              Away     7:00 PM

Monday               01/22/18              * Jenkintown MS/HS                      Away     7:00 PM

Wednesday        01/24/18              *New Hope-Solebury HS                              Home    7:00PM

Friday    01/26/18              *Morrisville High School                                Away     7:00 PM

Monday               01/29/18              *Philadelphia Mont Chri_stian Academy               Home    7:00 PM

Tuesday               01/30/18              *Christopher Dock Mennonite High School          Home    7:00PM

Friday    02/02/18              *Delaware County Christian School                         Home    7:00PM

Tuesday               02/06/18              *MaST Community Charter School                           Home    7:00PM

Wednesday        02/07/18              Collegium Charter School (Exton)                             Home    7:00 PM

* Bicentennial Athletic League (BAL) matchup

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