Jay Sarkis of Greece Athena dribbles down court during a game at Webster Schroeder on Jan. 23.
Ask Greece Athena junior forward Anthony Lamb which one of his teammates gets overlooked the most and his answer his senior forward Peter Florin.
“He’s probably one of the most underrated players I’ve ever met,” Lamb said. “Nobody notices him, but without him, a lot more of our games would be closer.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do without him next year.”
An underrated aspect of the Greece Athena team (12-0) may be its defensive play. The Trojans themselves say they are still a work in progress, but they held down a good-shooting Webster Schroeder team (7-4) Friday night to win 70-43.
“Most teams in Section V know that we can score the ball,” Athena senior guard Jay Sarkis said. “We have a ton of talent, on the offensive side. On the defensive side, we have to communicate, call picks out, know who we are guarding and we all have to box out every possession.
“This was one of our best defensive games this year. We recently played Gates Chili and let up way too many points. This team is a pretty good team, they have a lot of scorers, but I think we held them off pretty good.”
“I thought they did a good job defensively,” Schroeder coach Matt Spadoni said. “I thought we had a lot of open looks in the first half, looks that we usually make. We’re a 40 percent 3-point shooting team, 46 percent from two.
“I thought it was our effort on the defensive end. We were expending so much energy just to try to keep them from scoring, sprinting back. They put a lot of pressure on you that way.’
Lamb, who is listed at 6-foot-6 and is a Division I college prospect, finished with 17 points. Senior guard Zac DiSalvo had 16 for Athena, while Florin added 15.
“Peter Florin is our ‘X’ factor every single game,” Sarkis said. “He does things that we don’t even look for. He gets rebounds. His field goal percentage I think, is out of this world. He went 8-for-8 from the field against Penfield and this game, I think he went 7-for-7.
“Unbelievable player, I love him.”
Listed at 6-2, Florin does most of his work along the baseline and in the paint.
Athena trailed Schroeder 9-8, until a 9-2 spurt by the Trojans, including a three-point play by Brendon Wind, closed the opening quarter.
Florin, after a steal by Lamb, ran the floor and was fouled during the run. After Florin added the awarded free-throws, he continued the run when he put back up a missed shot by Shawn Gaines and then turned a pass by Sarkis into a reverse lay-up.
The first field goal of the second quarter also was scored by Florin, with another assist by Sarkis, which gave the Trojans a 19-11 lead.
Athena’s lead was 11 early in the second quarter, when DiSalvo was fouled as he finished a fastbreak with a lay-up. That was the start of 10 unanswered points for the Trojans.