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Dock Mennonite, Faith Christian going strong into 2018

Dock Mennonite's Darius Ellis, guarding a shot in a victory over Sankofa Freedom, has been part of a balanced effort in the Pioneers' 7-1 start. Debby High for Digital First Media (Debby High/For Digital First Media)

Dock Mennonite has won seven games in a row, and a key to that win streak is a passion for preparation.

“This team really practices well,” Pioneers coach Mike Fergus said Wednesday night, shortly after his team was impressive in a 75-43 win over Phil-Mont Christian Academy. “That’s the thing. Behind the scenes, these guys work at practice and they take what we do at practice into the game.

“I see moves that are being made by the guys and it’s not accidental — they work at it in practice and then they apply it to the game. That’s one of the reasons that this team has played so well.”

Dock (7-1) was simply dominant in its latest victory, running out to a 21-1 lead over the rival Falcons and getting double-digit points from five different players.

Balance and ball movement have been constants this year for Dock — 75 percent of their baskets have been assisted.

“They’re really unselfish,” Fergus said. “We pass the ball a lot and get a lot of assists every game.”

Miz Nyagwegwe racked up 21 points and led a defense that not only stopped Phil-Mont early but consistently took the ball away. Jackson Scialanca nailed four threes and finished with 16 points; Darius Ellis had a solid game inside with strong rebounding and 10 points; and Caleb Pfleiger gave Dock early confidence from the outside, hitting two first-quarter threes and finishing with 12 points.

Nolan Bolton continues to be a versatile weapon, in rebounds, assists, and as a defender that can take on anyone from a speedy point guard to a towering center or power forward.

It was Bolton’s job to guard Phil-Mont’s Lyle Tipton, a dangerous scorer, and Bolton limited him to three points in the first half.

“A kid like him, he kind of epitomizes the way our kids play,” Fergus said of Bolton.

Dock looks to keep it going this weekend when it hosts the BAL Classic. Phil-Mont takes on Calvary Baptist at 4 p.m. and Dock will play Holy Ghost 7:30 Saturday night.

Faith’s defense puts on the squeeze

Faith Christian rolled to an 8-1 mark with its 80-38 victory over Calvary Christian, thanks in part to a defense that is not letting opposing offenses get comfortable.

“Ball pressure will cause you to make mistakes and nobody notices it,” coach Tony DaCosta said after his team turned several takeaways into points Tuesday night. “It’s when you don’t have ball pressure that guys get open.

“I thought the guys did an excellent job with their intensity, making sure we come out the first three minutes of each quarter focused and ready to play.”

Faith will also be in action at the BAL Classic, taking on Plumstead Christian Friday night at 6:30.

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