Fitch's girls team remains undefeated on the season thanks to a relatively easy 69-55 win over rival Canfield Jan. 24. The Falcon boys are now 11-1.
"We're playing pretty well," said Fitch head coach Brian Beany, after playing Canfield. "We played three and a half good quarters."
The half quarter Beany's kids didn't perform up to par Friday gave the home team a glimmer of hope that it could stay alive in the race for the All American Conference Championship.
Other than that brief lapse, the Falcons flew into Canfield and slammed the door shut on their adversaries' largest pre season goal. Fitch used an inside-outside game that saw point guard Jessie Driver drive to the lane and then dish out to sharpshooter Michael Butcher, who had the best game of his senior campaign. The diminutive 510, 150 pound Butcher played large Friday nailing five three-pointers toward a game-high 26 points.
"(Butcher) is our best shooter," said Beany. "He is such a pure shooter. He is hitting about three three's per game. Nobody works harder or shoots more than he does. We are real effective when we can spread teams out."
Driver didn't just drive and dish all night. He did tally 19 points. As a team, the Falcons connected on 10 of 17 triples for the game. Canfield has only been held under 60 points five times this season so it was an accomplishment that Fitch stopped its nemesis at 55 on Friday. That marks the second time this season the Falcons have kept the Cardinals below 60 this season.
"We defended well," Beany said. "We are giving up only 54 points per game this year. We are playing really well in our man-to-man defense. We are also first in our conference in rebounding."
Those numbers are why the Falcons also are tied for first in the standings in their conference. Fitch's only loss this year has been to Poland and Beany's boys will get an opportunity Friday to avenge that 65-48 setback. The winner of that tussle will control its own destiny for the conference crown.
"The winner of this game will be in the driver's seat," said Beany. "With a win we will be sitting exactly where we want to be sitting at this point."
That seat could have been a little uncomfortable for the Falcons if they hadn't taken care of business three nights earlier at Niles.
"(Niles) can play with anyone," Beany said prior to that game. "When they hit their three's they compete. We need to be careful."
Beany's bunch also has league matchups left with Hubbard and Struthers this season.