Lancers’ frontcourt impresses in opener (Basketball, Boys Varsity, Basketball, Boys Freshman White, Basketball Boys Home Page, Basketball, Boys Freshman Brown, Basketball, Boys JV)
By: BY VYTAS MAZEIKA Daily News Staff Writer
Posted December 1
The Saint Francis-Mountain View boys basketball team will be without the services of Mike and Tom Petersen, 6-foot-6 towers that would bolster any frontcourt. The twins, who are MLB pitching prospects, chose not to try out for the hardwood. But don’t feel sorry for the Lancers as they still feature 6-9 center Drew Dickey and 6-4 forward Abu Tratter, a senior duo that combined for 37 points in a season-opening 71-49 victory Wednesday night over Fremont-Sunnyvale.
“Fortunately for us, we have two guys that we can stick down on that block,” Saint Francis coach Mike Motil said. “This is the first year besides freshman year that Abu and I have been on the floor together,” said Dickey, who had a game-high 21 points and dominated the paint on both ends of the floor. “Last year we didn’t have a lot of size, so he actually played center a lot. But I love playing with Abu, a kid who is so athletic and fun to play with. He’s a great teammate and just a great allaround basketball player.”
With Dickey doing the dirty work under the basket, Tratter was allowed to shine in the open court as Saint Francis (1-0) employed a fullcourt press from the start. Tratter’s 3-pointer barely a minute in gave the Lancers the lead for good at 7-4 and his dunk with 6 seconds left put the finishing touches on a 23-10 high octane first quarter.
“Tonight we wanted to come out and kind of establish ourselves and get up and down the floor, have some fun and play with some intensity,” Motil said. “So I think the best way to do that was to get things going in the full court and kind of see what happens.”
Fremont (0-1) scored the first six points of the second quarter, but Saint Francis answered with a 3-pointer by Jarod Diaz (12 points) and a tip-in off an inbound by Dickey. The exclamation point came off a steal at midcourt and another one-handed slam by Tratter, who scored 16 points.
“Abu runs the floor really well and he’s real physical,” Motil said. “And he loves dunking the basketball, no doubt. Wouldn’t we all like to?”
A three-point play plus a reverse layin by Dickey sparked a 15-2 run in the second quarter that was fueled by point guard Khalid Johnson, who scored all seven of his points over a two-minute span to extend the lead to 45-24 by halftime.
Up 25 points late in the third quarter, Motil was able to empty his bench for much valuable experience.
“We have two sophomores coming off our bench that need as much playing time as they can possibly get because we’re going to need them,” said Motil, who is also likely without football star Durrell Crooks, a 6-1 guard. “I don’t know if Crooks is going to play and we lost the two 6-foot-6 twins to baseball and we’re searching for some depth right now and trying to figure out where we’re at.”