Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2008

Basketball: Red-hot Bassich and Einstein fall to B-CC

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The Einstein boys basketball team cut an early 12-point deficit to four late in Friday’s game against Bethesda-Chevy Chase. But the Titans, who won a tournament hosted by Meade High in Howard County over the holiday break, ultimately fell to 4-5 with a 68-56 loss.

Einstein’s been competitive in all five of its losses, as it was Friday. Though it’s disappointed in its inability to convert on some opportunities late, there are some positives to take away from Friday’s performance.

The Barons’ box-and-1 defense frazzled Einstein’s attack, holding the Titans’ leading scorer, senior guard Dennis Bassich, who’d scored 75 points in two previous games heading into Friday’s contest, to just 18. But, Einstein’s biggest hindrance the last two seasons has been finding someone to support Bassich.

Friday, for the first time in nine games this season, Bassich wasn’t the Titans’ leading scorer. Senior guard Rickey Yarborough assumed that role with 19 points. Einstein has options in Yarborough and 6-foot-5 senior Matt Edwards. It’s just a matter of them being there on a consistent basis —Yarborough hadn’t scored in double digits since Dec. 14.

‘‘We’re a pretty good offensive team,” second-year coach Ken Bunker said. ‘‘I keep telling the guys whoever gets the easy buckets is going to win. Against B-CC we just didn’t get the easy buckets.”

Einstein is one win away from equaling its win total the last two seasons — it’s won five games each of the last two years. The potential is there for the Titans to have their first winning season in more than five years. They just need to find some consistency.

‘‘We’re in uncharted territory,” Bunker said. ‘‘We’re just trying to feel our way through. But once we know what it feels like, know what to expect. We can make the adjustments. We’re gaining experience. We’re getting more competitive.”