ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP - The Edgewood Warriors both started and finished well in knocking off the visiting Pymatuning Valley Lakers, 57-52, Friday night for their sixth straight win.
After the Lakers' Tim Cross put PV within a bucket, 54-52, with a 3-pointer with 35.1 seconds remaining, Edgewood's Lou Wisnyai connected on a pair of free throws and Andrew Konczal made one of his two attempts to hand the Lakers their first loss.
"We started and finished quarters strong," Edgewood coach John Bowler said. "They are a very good team. We were playing ourselves talent wise."
The Warriors (6-2) opened the second half on an 8-0 run to break a 26-26 halftime deadlock and spurred them to a 41-33 advantage through three periods.
PV (6-1, 3-0 in Northeastern Athletic Conference) whittled that lead down to just two, 45-43, with 4:12 remaining in the contest.
Edgewood opened the game on a 11-0 run and held the Lakers scoreless for more than five minutes. Joey Zappitelli, Andrew Konczal and Dylan McCaleb all scored from beyond of the arc in the run.
"It was huge for us," Bowler said. "The last couple of games (we) haven't started so well."
"We just can't spot Edgewood an 11-0 lead," Fitch said. "We can't give them that lead."
Pymatuning Valley finally dug in and went on a 10-2 run to answer, making the score 15-10 in favor of the Warriors.
"We were too tired to make a run (later)," Fitch said.
In a slower-paced second period, the Lakers managed to knot the score, 26-26, at the break.
Edgewood again picked up the speed and regained momentum with the burst to start the third quarter.
The Warriors found a nice balance in scoring. Konczal led the way with 17 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
"I've been in a bit of a struggle," Konczal said. "My teammates and coach tell me to keep my head up. It finally clicked for me. I found my flow. It's a great team win."
Connor McLaughlin added 13 points and six boards, Dylan McCaleb scored 12, and Wisnyai added eight points, including going 4 of 4 from the free-throw line.
"It's a team effort," Bowler said. "Every game we have a different high scorer. Louie Wisnyai and Andrew Konczal made shots in the clutch.
"Eight guys who can go in play."
Quintin Ratliff paced PV with 27 points, seven rebounds, Cross had 17 points, seven rebounds.
"Offensive flow wasn't good and some wide open looks didn't go," Fitch said. "We pressed a little bit with our shot selection. (We'll) get back to work on Monday.
"We got exposed on containing dribble drive. That's the mental aspect of the game, understanding basketball a bit more. It's a learning process."