Redskins prey on young Panthers
CONNORVILLE — Early in the high school basketball season, experience makes a difference.
Both coaches felt that was the case Tuesday night after Indian Creek thoroughly controlled a young Buckeye Local squad for a 55-30 victory.
“I think it was a case of experience against some young kids that are going to be very good down the road,” veteran Indian Creek coach Joe Dunlevy said. “We start five seniors, and they start a young group that will get better.
“It is always nice (to win a Buckeye 8 Conference game). We tell the kids we have to be ready to go when we come down here. Last year we won by two, and that is usually the type of game it is in this conference. Any win in the Buckeye 8 you can get, you are happy about.”
The difference in time on the floor showed most in the second quarter when the Redskins (2-0) scored the first 15 points, giving up a long Panthers (0-2) bucket in the final minute. The Indian Creek scoring run overall was 18-0, taking it from a tight 6-4 Redskins advantage late in the first quarter to a 24-6 halftime advantage.
“Our experience forced them into mistakes,” Dunlevy said. “We are trying to get better every game.
Buckeye Local came out of the break with eyes on getting back into the game, rattling off an 8-1 scoring run to start the third quarter and make it a 25-14 game.
Dunlevy then used a timeout, and his squad responded by scoring the next 11 points and 19 of the next 21 to leave little doubt about the result.
“We got hit on a couple of set plays to start the second half, and we didn’t communicate,” Dunlevy said. “I asked them to talk a little bit more on defense. You want to try to keep the intensity up for 32 minutes, especially with how important the first few minutes of a half are. They were winning the second half.
“It wasn’t any genius comments (during the timeout), I just told them we have to start playing defense again.”
Panthers first-year coach Chris Heaton knew the difference in experience made a big difference, too.
“Their pressure really hurt us in that second quarter,” he said. “We are young and we are going to go through some growing pains right now. We got two freshman and four sophomores in our roatation. We are going to fight through it and keep going. We have good days ahead of us.
“We’ll go back and look at the film and talk about our mistakes. This was definitely an eye-opening experience for these kids. Some of them were playing in their second varsity basketball game.”
Austin Judson, one of the afforementioned seniors, led the way for the Redskins with 17 points and five rebounds, both game-highs.
“He is one of the kids that has put the time in, and the results happen because of that,” Dunlevy said. “You have a test coming up, you work hard and study for the test. That is what he has been doing basketball-wise.”
It was a balanced attack for Dunlevy and company as Mike Allan scored 11, Derrick Eakle nine and Matt Mamula eight. The fifth senior in the lineup, Brennon Norris, dished put a game-high four assists to go with four boards and five points.
“We got another guy back which helped with our depth,” Dunlevy said. “I think we are starting to settle in with our line up. We have everybody dressed that is going to play for us. We are going to have some balance because the kids are putting the time in.”
The Panthers got six points each from Cameron Grabits and Mason Brown. Buckeye Local was able to get eight different players on the scoresheet. Jacob Moffo pulled down four boards, while Grabits and Stevie Roberts each had two assists.
“Balanced scoring is something we are looking for,” Heaton said. “We are looking for an identity right now. That is something we can build on. We have to find out who we are and what type of team we want to be.”
Both teams are back in action on Friday. The Redskins play host to Weir High, while the Panthers stay in Buckeye 8 action and travel to Edison.
≤ Indian Creek was assessed a technical foul in the first quarter when Noah Hildebrand entered the game from the bench in the first quarter because he was not listed in the scorebook.
Buckeye Local won the jayvee game, 42-35.
(Grimm can be reached at email@example.com. For local sports updates, follow us on Twitter @HSDTsports.)
Indian Creek 55, Buckeye Local 30
Indian Creek 9-15-12-19 — 55
Buckeye Local 4-2-8-16 — 30
INDIAN CREEK (2-0): Lucas 1 1-2 1; McClurg 1 0-0 2; Allan 4 3-4 11; Norris 2 1-2 5; Eakle 4 1-2 9; Mamula 2 4-8 8; Judson 4 8-11 17; Vandine 1 0-0 2. TOTALS: 18 18-29 55.
BUCKEYE LOCAL (0-2): Novak 0 2-2 2; Long 0 0-2 0; Moffo 2 0-0 4; Roberts 0 2-4 2; Grabits 3 0-0 6; Zanes 1 2-2 4; Watt 0 2-2 2; Brown 1 4-4 6; H. Darrah 2 0-0 4. TOTALS: 9 12-16 30.
THREE-POINT GOALS: Indian Creek 1 (Judson); Buckeye Local 0. REBOUNDS: Indian Creek 20 (Judson 5); Buckeye Local 16 (Moffo 4). ASSISTS: Indian Creek 16 (Norris 4); Buckeye Local 5 (Grabits 2, Roberts 2). TURNOVERS: Indian Creek 15; Buckeye Local 23.