by Matt Lofgren | Correspondent
Streetsboro -- At last, it's over.
The host Streetsboro boys basketball team survived a last-minute push by Field to snap a five-game losing streak with a 51-44 victory Jan. 4.
With the win, the Rockets improved to 3-2 in the Portage Trail Conference Metro Division. The Falcons fell to 2-5 overall and 0-5 in the division. Streetsboro (4-6) also lost a 68-65 decision to Youngstown East Jan. 5 on the road.
It wasn't pretty, but when Streetsboro head coach Nick Marcini needed his seniors to step up, they did.
"We've got a lot of guys that haven't been in these close situations," Marcini said. "It was a good experience for them. We've just got to be able to handle the pressure in the end and luckily, we had a couple seniors step up and hit some foul shots.
"But at the end of the day, a win's a win. We'll take it any way we can get it."
Field fought its way back into the game by utilizing tough defense.
In the final two minutes of the game, the Falcons forced four crucial turnovers that either led to buckets or free-throw chances for the team.
Falcons head coach Jon Lane said he was unhappy with the result but pleased to see how far his team has come.
"We feel like we've made some progress with the break," Lane said. "Streetsboro put it to Springfield pretty good and Springfield beat us and we just took Streetsboro to the last minutes of the game."
All game long, it was the little things that could have made the outcome of the game a lot different. Both teams had success forcing turnovers, but neither side could effectively sink easy layups.
"It has been like that for a majority of the year now," Marcini said. "We've just got to keep working hard and get these guys concentrating to just be strong. I think that's our problem right now."
The one constant for either team was the Rockets' Brandon Gency, who put forth a blue-collar performance when his team needed him. Gency had 13 points, most of which came in the paint and looked for his best chance to strike under the basket.
"In practice, we really emphasize rebounding, mainly offensive rebounding and I just got after it and crashed the board," Gency said. "And then I found an open lane to run."
One of the taller players on Streetsboro's roster, Gency is used in Marcini's offense to run the point. Marcini said Gency creates a mismatch in Streetsboro's favor when he's on the court.
"He's running a lot of the point guard for us, being a bigger guy, because we don't have a true point guard," Marcini said. "We've been working on getting him the ball in the post and getting some mismatches with him. He did a good job early on getting it going. In the second half, they adjusted and started putting more guys on him."
Jordan Matusik led Streetsboro with 15 points and Austin Sparks had 13 points for the Falcons.
Against Youngstown East (9-1), Deontay Scott led the way with 22 points, 16 rebounds and four steals and Taylor Johnson had 18 points and five steals. Terrell McClain added 17 points for Youngstown East.
Matusik led the Rockets with 27 points and Devin Rencher added 11 points and seven rebounds.
Streetsboro also lost a 57-46 decision to Youngstown East in the junior varsity contest.
The Rockets were scheduled to entertain Metro Division rival Norton Jan. 8. Results were not available at press time. They are set to visit Metro Division foe Crestwood Jan. 11 at 7:30 p.m.