The Dunkirk Marauders (1-10) had their hands full Friday with western New York powerhouse Olean Huskies in town for a non-league boys basketball matchup.
In the end, it was Olean going home with a 77-52 victory, but the Marauders were able to hold their heads high after going to battle with the No. 6 ranked Class B team in the state.
"I'm beyond satisfied," Dunkirk coach Steve O'Brien said. "We knew who they were and they should contend for a state title this year. We came in with a short bench and left it all on the floor."
OBSERVER?Photo by Justin Goetz
Dunkirk’s Michael?Bess drives to the basket during Friday’s non-league basketball game against Olean.
Near the end of the first quarter, Olean held a slim 12-11 lead before the Huskies opened it up to 20-11 at the end of the period. The lead continued to grow in the second and Dunkirk went into the half trailing 44-23.
It was more of the same in the third quarter.
Dunkirk came into the game with only six available players and keeping up with the Huskies proved to be exhausting. Going into the final quarter, the Marauders trailed 65-32.
But Dunkirk never quit despite the insurmountable deficit. The Marauders outscored Olean 20-12 in the fourth quarter and came away satisfied with their effort.
Dunkirk's Michael Bess led all scorers with 32 points, including six buckets from 3-point range. Bess also pulled down five rebounds. Esmond Colvin was strong on the glass in the loss with 16 rebounds and seven points while going up against one of the premiere big men in the area in?Sam Eckstrom.
"They're good. They play pressure defense and force you into mistakes," O'Brien said. "Before you know it (the turnovers) add up and that's 10-15 points over the course of the game. Esmond (Colvin) did a monster job underneath and Tyler Kubasic was all over the floor. Hopefully we can carry something positive out of this. They gave a good effort and kept their heads up. I'll take that effort."
Nick Schmidt led the Huskies with 23 points. Eighteen of Schmidt's 23 came from beyond the arc. Sam Eckstrom had 13 points and Wil Bathurst added 12 points in the victory.