POULTNEY — They were the Long Trail boys basketball team’s version of “Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside.” One in the staring lineup, the other doing his damage off the bench.
Tomasz Koc, the floor general with the velvet touch from outside, and Ty Dickerson, a bruising force down low, helped lead the Mountain Lions to a 53-22 victory over Poultney on Friday night at Capman Court.
The Blue Devils came to play. They always have this season and were very much in the game early with the score knotted at 8-8 after the first quarter,
Enter, Dickerson. He came into the game with 2:29 left in the first quarter and in the second stanza he began to assert himself.
The Mountain Lions and Devils were still locked in that 8-8 tie early in the second quarter when Dickerson muscled inside for a hoop that put Long rail ahead for good.
Then, Dickerson got another bucket down low and Koc followed it up with one of his five 3-point goals to put the Mountain Lions up 15-8.
They were on their way. They outscored Poultney 19-0 in that second quarter.
Koc had 19 points to lead the Lions in scoring and Dickerson followed with 12.
“Our kids played hard,” Poultney coach Todd Montana said.
They did. They played hard when the game was still a dogfight and they played hard after the outcome had long been decided.
But the Mountain Lions had too much length and too much skill.
The outcome was decided early with that 19-0 second-quarter spurt building the halftime lead to 27-8. The Lions extended their advantage to 45-16 by the end of the third quarter.
Koc started playing basketball in his native Poland about the age of 7.
He diligently practices his craft of shooting behind the arc.
“I shoot probably 50 a day from there,” Koc said.
“We have a strong team we we are trying to get better every game.”
The Long Trail reserves got some significant minutes and reaffirmed Mike Olson’s feelings about his bench.
“We have eight or nine kids who are capable of contributing,” Olson said.
“And, of course, we have a great floor leader (Koc) and that helps.”
It was a nice bounce-back victory for the 6-1 Mountain Lions who were coming off an overtime loss at defending Division III state champion Green Mountain.
Olson said that Poultney’s deliberate game gave them trouble early.
“They were very patient and that bothered us,” Olson said.
The 2-5 Blue Devils were led by Lucas Milazzo’s eight points. Connor Worthing added seven and Mason Boudreau another five.
Aiden Tarbell followed Koc and Dickerson in scoring for Long Trail with seven.
The Mountain Lions have a big week with Springfield and Proctor coming into their palatial field house. Springfield comes calling on Tuesday night and the Phantoms on Friday. Both games are at 6 p.m.