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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Shawnee Duels South

The first matchup between Shawnee and South was exciting where the game’s outcome wasn’t decided until late in the 4th quarter.  Round two would also be closely contested game where the neighboring schools would go toe to toe for 4 quarters.  However, this time South was playing with a handicap.  Senior and leading scorer Johnny Meyers would be watching the game from the sidelines.  He had injured his leg in the game against Tri-County North and has not been able to play since.  Speaking to him before the game – his injury is day to day.  His return to the court is expected, but no idea as to exactly when.

South got an early advantage, but Shawnee made up the difference and then some – leading the game 15-13 at the end of the first quarter.  South repeated their defense from the first matchup – a box and one with the extra attention going to Jake Adams.  Shawnee used a couple of zone variations (2-3,1-3-1) and then mixed in a little full court pressure to keep South off balance.

It was a one point game at half time.  And that was the type of game that it was – two teams going toe to toe for 4 quarters. Neither team could go on a long scoring run and they swapped the lead time after time, the lead not being much more than 2-3 points at any one time for either team.  It was close to a stalemate. 

In the 4th quarter it was a one point game at the 6:30 mark in favor of Shawnee. In an effort to break the stalemate, South went to a man to man defense.  But Shawnee was able to adjust and South couldn’t get an advantage.  But the game broke open on a pair of old fashioned 3 point plays late in the game.  Shawnee’s Matt Buell threw up a shot that dropped and he was fouled.  Buell completed the three point play by making his foul shot.  Then Jake Adams drove the basket, and likewise was fouled and made his shot.

Suddenly Shawnee had some breathing room – a 7 point lead.  It was at the 02:30 mark and Coach Gerken took a timeout to set up the end game for his team.  The strategy worked out as South was unable to close to gap in the waning minutes – fouling sent Shawnee shooters to the foul line where they put the game away.  At the final buzzer it was 62-54 Shawnee, a reversal of their earlier game.

“South has a really nice team regardless of who they have on the floor -they have a lot of really good shooters,” commented Shawnee coach Gerken, “They can extend your defense because you have to defend Cottingim and Innis.  As soon as you extend, then they go inside to Green.  In the first half I didn’t think we did a very good job of hitting the glass, Green had 10 rebounds. So we adjusted to take that away.”
He continued, “We kept fighting back and forth the entire game, I was proud of way our kids kept fighting back.  We made some key half time adjustments and they worked out for us. It made them change what they were doing. Overall it was a competitive game, I was really happy with the effort.”

On David Willoughby, “In the first half, he got into early foul trouble and was pretty much a nonfactor. But in the second half, he was aggressive and got after it. He did a nice job of making open jump shots when we called upon him.  He did a nice job of keeping Green off the glass as well.  And Jake Adams came on in the second half. This is probably the best he’s played against the box and one.  Give South credit – he had to work for every one of his shots.”

Scoring for TVS: Baker 7, Cole 5, Cottingim 9, Green 17, Guehring 2, Innis 13; Scoring for Shawnee: Adams 14, Buell 9, Elam 4, Hocker 6, Letner 8, Mann 6, Willoughby 15.

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