WINDSOR -- Don't judge the Erie boys basketball book by its cover.
The Tigers had six losses coming in to Tuesday nights game at Tri-Valley League leading Windsor and had yet to be "blown out." They have hung with some of the states best and have a deep understanding within their own locker room that they can play with anybody.
That's why Tuesday night's 73-57 setback to the Wizards had a majority of the Tigers more than a little furstrated.
"We keep telling these guys, and we've told them since the summer, that they can play with anybody," said Tigers coach Scott Melin, whose team dropped to 8-7 overall and 3-4 in the TVL. "These guys are fiercely loyal to one another and they're extremely competitive.
"And what we lack in size, these guys come out and they fight as hard as they can every single game."
And for the first 16 minutes, Erie was more than in the game with a Wizards team that sits atop the Tri-Valley with Holy Family.
The Tigers didn't back down from the Wizards frenetic early pace and looked comfortable running up and down the court with Windsor, getting big contributions from Jeffrey Farineau and Luke Loy to go to the break down just 31-28.
Windsor (11-5, 6-1) was able to keep up the fast pace in the third quarter and that's when they were able to pull away from the Tigers, who were down 42-35 when momentum swung heavily toward the home side.
Wizards senior guard Kirk Relford was rewarded a questionable and-one layup on an Alex Mathis foul that occurred at the free throw line. On the Tigers next trip down the floor, Mathis drove to the basket and was called for the charge
"It's hard, and nobody's perfect .. we made mistakes as well. We kind of let (the officiating) get into our head and lost what we were supposed to be focusing on," said Melin, whose team is currently No. 35 in the RPI and will welcome in No. 1 Lewis-Palmer later this week.
"Windsor is too good of a team to lose focus on, because they are going to make runs and most of the night we were able to control their runs."
Erie was led by Ethyn Tyson's 17 points and Farineau had 16 before fouling out in the fourth quarter. Mathis finished with nine and Loy had eight.
Windsor was lead by Relford's 25 points, including a perfect 10-for-10 at the line. Tyler McGinnis had 16 and Chase Lanckriet finished with 11.
Windsor 73, Erie 57
ERIE (8-7, 3-4)
Larson 1 0-0 2, Tyson 7 0-0 17, Nguyen 0 0-0 0, Meier 0 2-2 2, D. Lucero 0 0-0 0, L. Loy 3 1-4 8, Farineau 8 0-0 16, J. Lucero 0 0-2 0, K. Loy 0 0-0 0, Mathis 3 0-0 9, Yopp 1 0-0 3. Totals 23 3-8 57.
WINDSOR (11-5, 6-1)
Relford 7 10-10 25, Greene 0 0-0 0, Rasmuson 1 7-8 9, Scoggin 2 1-2 5, L. McGinnis 1 0-0 3, Lanckriet 5 1-2 11, Huntsman 0 0-0 0, Pederson 1 2-2 4, T. McGinnis 7 0-0 16. Totals 20 21-24 73.
Score by quarters:Erie11171217—57
3-point field goals — Erie (8): Tyson 3, Mathis 3, L. Loy, Yopp; Windsor (4): T. McGinnis 2, Relford, L. McGinnis. Total fouls — Erie 20, Windsor 11. Fouled out — Farineau.