Knights battle but come up short against Pirates

Knights battle but come up short against Pirates
Justin Smith

Brady Roden (23) goes up for a layup during Garaway’s 54-42 win over West Holmes on Jan. 17 at West Holmes High School.

                        

After watching West Holmes erase a double-digit deficit in the second quarter, Garaway boys basketball coach Terry Rowe had a specific halftime message for his players.

“I challenged our kids at halftime about what direction we wanted this game to go,” he said.

That direction was positive for the Pirates, who pulled away in the fourth quarter to earn a 54-42 nonleague win on Jan. 17 at West Holmes High School.

The Knights (1-12) trailed by 12 points early in the second quarter before going on a 15-1 run to take a two-point lead with just under 30 seconds left until halftime. Garaway’s Brady Roden then made two free throws as the two teams went into the locker room tied at 22-all.

“These kids don’t have any quit in them,” West Holmes interim coach Tennille Cline said. “We encouraged them to just keep playing (and) just keep making decisions (and) just be that disciplined team that gets the shot that we want (and) gets that stop on defense.

“Sometimes you make that shot, and you go and get a stop on defense. You go down and just be disciplined and run your offense until you get what you want. That’s the team that will be successful, and I think we did that in the second quarter.”

The game was still up for grabs early in the third quarter, but the Pirates (11-1) started to take control with an 8-0 run in the middle part of the quarter. They entered the fourth leading 36-29 and pushed that advantage to double digits early in the quarter.

Garaway equaled its biggest lead up to that point in the game (12 points) with just under five minutes left on a layup by Gabe Amicone. West Holmes never got any closer than eight points the rest of the game.

The Pirates deserve credit for not letting the Knights get any closer. They did a nice job moving the ball around to take time off the clock and made 9 of 11 free throws down the stretch.

“We have a lot of guards that have good skill and make the defense chase you a little bit and are strong with the ball,” Rowe said. “We didn’t turn the ball over. We were consistent from the foul line and also got stops on the defensive end.”

Garaway’s Alex Roden led all scorers with 16 points. Brady Roden added 11, Drew Mullet and Jarett Wallick both chipped in eight, and Logan Yoder contributed six.

“We have one kid scoring 12 points a game and three or four guys scoring eight or nine points a game,” Rowe said. “Our team is not based on that 20- or 25-point scorer. We share the basketball. We have multiple guys who can make shots. We have multiple guys who can drive to the hoop.”

Zander Shultz paced the Knights with 15 points. Nate Fair added 11 and Mason Wolfe six.

Rowe had a lot of positive things to say about West Holmes.

“(West Holmes) is a physical team,” he said. “West Holmes’ record is extremely deceiving. There are a lot of leagues if they would be in, they would have a very good record. They’re going to be a tough team come tournament time on the D-II level, so we’re happy to go on the road and get a win.”

Cline was encouraged by what she saw from her players, who have had to battle through some challenging circumstances this season.

“I’m so proud of these boys, and I will continue to be,” she said. “The things we see (wrong) in these games are all fixable things. They’re all things that we’ll fix in practice, and we’ll be a better team (on Jan. 18).”


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