30 points from the Ryan Salzberg-Timmy Zapisek duo was what Fayetteville-Manlius needed to get the 59-54 road win over Nottingham.
The intensity of their meeting earlier in the season is really hard to duplicate, but, this game came close to it. It didn’t come down to a last-second shot, nevertheless, the persistence of the two teams turned this into a nail-biter.
After F-M (3-14) outscored Nottingham 14-7 in the third quarter, it was a 10-point game in favor of the away team and the crowd thought it was over, but, Nottingham stormed back and put the pressure on F-M in the closing minutes of the contest.
That’s when F-M strived. As the game aged, the Hornets began to lock down on defense and forced Nottingham to get away from the play that they had originally planned to execute.
When the Hornets saw their lead get cut in half and that Nottingham was beginning to shift the momentum as the fourth quarter was winding down, their head coach, Jason Dudzinski, began to make offense-for-defense substitutions on every possession.
In a timeout that was taken with just seconds left, Dudzinski updated his team about who was going in for whom and told them how proud he was of them for competing and playing as hard as they did. He reminded his team that they just had to close it out.
And that is exactly what they did.
The Hornets stepped up and played really good defense to secure the victory. Players like Nick Perry made all of the hard work worthwhile when he was active defensively and wouldn’t allow his man to follow through with his plans.
Nick Perry’s defensive efforts and the nights that Zapisek and Salzberg had offensively helped the Hornets overcome big nights from Nottingham’s Jevon Jones and Jakair Sanchez, who finished with 17 points apiece.