Posted: 1:10 pm Saturday, January 16th, 2010
By Jason Lieser
There was a lot of talking during Atlantic’s 91-81 win over Jupiter on Friday, and neither head coach was thrilled with it.
Atlantic-Jupiter has become a contentious rivalry, especially over the past year, and Friday’s game was full of fury, both physically and emotionally.
In 32 minutes, the teams managed to shoot 91 free throws, which is absurdly high. It was a night full of bumping, elbowing and taunting by both sides.
In the Atlantic locker room, coach Chris Bean chastised his players for engaging in trash talk and warned them that it could cost them later in the season.
“You can play the game without opening your mouth,” Bean said after talking with his team. “Don’t feed into other guys’ traps. Stay focused on what you’re doing and don’t be talking.
“It’s definitely a liability, but it’s not going to continue.”
Each team was whistled for two technical fouls in the final few minutes.
Jupiter cut the Eagles’ lead to 74-70 midway through the fourth quarter, but an official whistled a Warriors assistant coach for a technical foul. That penalty helped Atlantic push the lead back to 77-70 with 3:31 left and the Eagles led by at least six points the rest of the way.
Jupiter forward Tyler Cameron and Eagles forward Rudy Conde were hit with technical fouls after an exchange with 1:19 remaining. Atlantic guard Gervens Casimir picked one up with 17 seconds left.
Warriors coach John Andersen said his players were caught up in the animosity at times and it caused them to play impatiently on offense instead of setting up their plays.
“We rushed shots and that kind of fed into it,” Andersen said.
Aside from that, Andersen said he did not think his players lost their tempers during the game.
After the final buzzer, both teams seemed to make peace quickly in the post-game handshakes. Bean, who spent most of the night yelling at his players to get in the face of guard Kevin Paxson, hugged Paxson after the game.
“After the game, everybody was great,” Andersen said. “There was not an issue. It’s intense during the game, but after the game everybody was cool, which is what it should be.”
Atlantic and the Warriors are likely to see each other again, either in the district tournament or the state playoffs (or both).