BEEKMANTOWN — Just one boys’ Northern Basketball League team has been able to solve Northeastern Clinton’s tenacious 2-3 zone.
Beekmantown wasn’t able to add its name to that select list Thursday.
The Cougars (9-1, 5-1) forced 21 turnovers, holding the Eagles (3-6, 1-4) to two fourth-quarter points in a 60-39 Division I win.
“We definitely knew we had to extend ourselves on Greg Manney, who’s an unbelievable player,” Northeastern Clinton coach Robb Garrand said. “First and foremost, that was our game plan. I just thought we were really active on our feet and got into our recovery positions well (Thursday).”
Manney, who entered the contest second in league scoring with 17 points per game, was held scoreless in the first half.
“We knew Manney was a phenomenal shooter, and we knew that we had to mark him up,” Austin Tetreault said. “I feel like we did a really good job marking him up and closing it in when they passed it to the middle.”
Tetreault played a significant role in his team’s early success in the first quarter.
The junior guard knocked down two of his game-high three 3-pointers, helping the Cougars to a 17-3 run to close out the opening stanza.
“It’s such a huge confidence booster,” Tetreault said. “When we do well on offense, it’s going to help us come out flying on defense.
“We knew we had to come out flying, especially in the first quarter. In our past three games, we’ve started out slow. It was one thing we preached going in.”
Tetreault finished the ballgame with 13 points on five converted field goals.
With efficient ball movement, Northeastern Clinton was able to get good looks around the perimeter, managing a 16-point lead at halftime.
“The problem that we’ve had this season is never playing that complete game,” Garrand said. “But I thought we did a good job cutting to the lanes with just good movement.