|Jays’ 2nd half, shooting dooms Pirates|
|Monday, December 24, 2012 9:55 AM|
CONTINENTAL — Continental held close to St. John’s for a half Friday night, only trailing 34-27 at the half of their non-conference boys basketball game at The Pirates Cove inside Don Huber Memorial Gymnasium.
That didn’t last.
The Blue Jays blitzed the Pirates 17-8 in the third period to take command en route to a 69-46 triumph.
The Blue and Gold (4-1) used stellar shooting all night long — 23-of-39 for the game (5-of-12 triples) for 59 percent — to lead almost from start to finish.
“For the second game in a row, we got off to a good start. It has taken a while for our offense to start clicking but our confidence is high right now,” St. John’s coach Aaron Elwer began. “We are making a concerted effort to use the inside-out game, whether by a pass into the post or off the dribble penetration. We got to the basket quite a bit tonight to put pressure on their defense.”
That was the point of emphasis for Continental coach Kevin Homier.
“We were terrible at that; we did a poor job of giving up drives to the basket. We never really did stop it all night,” he explained. “We also put them at the line far too many times and you don’t beat a quality team like this doing that.”
The only time the Pirates (4-3) led was at 3-1 on a 3-point play by 6-3 senior Chaz Slattman (16 points, 9 boards; struggled with foul trouble) with 7:02 on the first-period board. Once junior Ryan Koester hit a 3-ball shortly after that, the Jays never led. Senior Curtis Geise, who scored a game-high 26, including 12-of-13 free throws, came out well in scoring seven points to pace the Jays. As well, 6-4 sophomore Tyler Conley added all six of his points, including his high-low layin on a feed from fellow soph Andy Grothouse with 59 ticks on the board, for a 22-12 edge.
Geise continued his hot touch, adding seven more points in the second period. Classmate Ryan Buescher (18 counters, 6 boards, 4 steals, 3 assists, 3 blocks) knocked down five but those two were the only Jays that scored. Meantime, Tyler Rue scored six of his 16 points for the Pirates in the period, including a putback with a tick left, to get the hosts within 34-27.
The third canto was all Jays. They got Slattman in further foul trouble, picking up his third and fourth fouls, as well as a couple other players for a not-that-deep Pirate unit by continuously attacking the basket. Buescher (9 markers in the period) and Geise (7) were an unstoppable 1-2 punch for the visitors as their lead reached as high as 21 — 50-29 on a drive to the glass by Buescher at 2:21 — before settling for a 51-35 spread on a free toss by Koester at 27.7 ticks.
“Slattman is a very tough player inside and Continental plays so hard. They were very efficient the first half,” Elwer added. “We just made a halftime adjustment to get back to our game plan on how we wanted to defend Continental; we did a better job of forcing them to shoot over the top. When we got him in foul trouble, we wanted to continue to attack him. Overall, outside of a couple of quicker shots than we’d like, we were efficient offensively and even extended our defense some the second half.”
The fourth stanza saw the Jays continue to maintain at least a 14-point lead and eventually add to it as both benches emptied in the final minutes.
The Jays added 18-of-21 at the free-throw line (85.7%); 26 caroms (6 offensive) as Geise added six boards and senior Seth Bockey four; 10 errors; and 15 fouls. They host Celina tonight starting at 6 p.m. with the junior varsity.
The Pirates ended up 19-of-45 shooting (2-of-14 downtown) for 42.4 percent; 6-of-13 at the line (46.2%); with 21 off the glass (9 offensive) as Rue added eight; 11 miscues; and 17 fouls. They visit McComb Dec. 29.
“We play hard but we don’t have the toughness we need to stand in with teams like this for 32 minutes. I felt only being down seven at the half, if we could just keep it there, maybe the pressure would get to them in the fourth,” Homier added. “That didn’t happen. We are struggling trying to turn around a mental attitude amongst the kids because they have never really won and don’t know how to win games like this yet. We have handled the ball well but we don’t shoot that well overall for us not to have that tough attitude.”
In JV action, St. John’s improved to 3-2 with a 36-27 triumph.
Sophomore Alex Odenweller led the victors with 11 counters.
Austin Mansfield was high scorer for the Pirates with 11.