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Evansville Harrison overpowers Floyd

December 03, 2008
The Floyd Central boys' basketball team got off to a rough start to their season as the visiting Evansville Harrison Warriors overpowered the Highlanders 81-54. For the Highlanders it was a disappointing night after hopes of a much improved beginning.

"We need balance," Floyd coach Randy Gianfagna said. "I still want us go inside-out. We have got to play grind-it-out until we get out in transition. Against this team, an 80-point game is not going to work."

Floyd Central's Brandon Codey, left, finds it difficult to outrace Evansville Harrison guard Kendal Brown as Codey tries to fly downcourt in the first half. (Photo by Wade Bell)
Harrison got off to an explosive start, taking an 11-2 lead with three three-pointers, two of those coming from Kendal Brown. Buddy McAfee and Ryan Adam pulled the Highlanders within five, but the Warriors finished with a 6-2 burst and a 17-8 lead after one quarter.

"We did not want to get to a point where we had to chase them, and that's what happened," Gianfagna said. "After one quarter, we were out chasing, and that's not going to be one of our strengths against a team like that."

In the second quarter, the two teams traded baskets before a long dry spell for both teams. Harrison, however, got going with a 13-3 run, putting the Highlanders in a 32-15 hole. McAfee scored in the paint, but Harrison followed with a 6-0 burst, highlighted by a two-handed dunk by the 5-9 Brown. Floyd did have one highlight in the quarter as Andrew Mitchell drilled a last-second mid-court shot to pull the Highlanders within 18, 39-21, at halftime.

"We wanted to zone them because we didn't think we could guard their five little guys," Gianfagna said. "We ran a 2-3 (zone) and with a little different look at it. I thought we did OK defensively, but offensively our post guys were feeding our post guys with three guys on them and they put a lot of pressure on us. We couldn't handle the hand-checking out front very well. They just pushed us around. We didn't get the ball where it needed to be on offense."

The Highlanders tried to get back in the game, but Austin Cope and Yawan Woolfolk took over for the Warriors, ballooning the lead to 50-28. Harrison eventually pushed its lead to 33 until Floyd finally gave its fans something to cheer about as Adam connected on a three-ball for a 7-0 burst.

The Highlander hole, however, was too much to dig out of and Floyd fell by the 81-54 decision.

"We wanted to play those big kids and utilize them, but we can't simulate their ball pressure in practice," Gianfagna said. "When they get ahead, (Brown) is going to take you off your balance and make everybody else look better. Our whole thing tonight was, let (Brown) get whatever he wanted, but no role players could be in double figures."

Adam led the Highlanders with 21 points, and McAfee followed with 11. Floyd didn't shot a respectable 45 percent from the field, hitting 22 of 48 shots. The Highlanders connected on 7 of 14 free throws, but committed 21 turnovers.

"He missed some threes he normally hits," Gianfagna said of Adam. "Their pressure does one of two things. It makes you hurry all the time. Our whole thing was to drive it on them tonight, give it to a wing and drive it in there and let our bigs kind of take the advantage. When you're driving it and you can't handle the pressure, when your passes are at people's feet, there were guys open, and it went through them at their ankles, it's a tough shot to come up with."

Brown led the Warriors with 19 points, and Cope finished with 16. Woolfolk added 15 points for Harrison, who was 28 of 60 (46 percent) from the field and 13 of 18 from the stripe. Harrison finished with just 11 turnovers.

Gianfagna said his team had nobody to match up with Brown.

"He can shoot it and he can dunk it," the Floyd coach said. "He hit two threes from 24 feet. They missed their first shot and he got the offensive rebound and put it right back in. Then, we hit a shot. We wanted to slow the game, and they got it sped up."

Gianfagna said his team had two goals in the game, meeting neither one.

"We wanted to go to the line 30 times, and that means we were getting the ball inside, and that didn't happen," he said. "Early, I thought we got some good looks and they just didn't go down, and they hit everything. That puts you on your heels. The second quarter was a 20-possession quarter, and we wanted a 10 to 12-possession quarter."

"(Cope) hit three threes on us, so we wanted him to take it off the bounce," Gianfagna said. "We wanted him to put the ball on the floor. When (Brown) can break you down, we couldn't find one guy to keep in front of him."

Gianfagna said his team still has to learn to keep going for the full 32 minutes.

"Well, we score a layup to start the second quarter and the guy runs right by us because we don't have our heads turned around," he said. "I haven't been able to get across how hard we have to play. … There's some teams on our schedule where we want more shots, quite a few."

Floyd Central (0-1) will host Silver Creek Saturday evening.

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