Cougars drop to Brownstown
December 31, 2008
North Harrison boys' basketball coach Chris Martin was hoping Santa Claus would bring his team an early Christmas present as the Cougars went up against visiting Brownstown Central just before the Christmas break on Dec. 19. The Braves, however, were in no mood to play Santa and handed North Harrison a 70-45 loss.
"They've got three really nice offensive players and other guys who are really nice role players who, when you focus on the three offensive guys, they find the way to have the ball in their hands and score buckets," Martin said. "They're a very talented ball club."
|North Harrison's Devin Southard can only watch the ball roll between the legs of Brownstown Central's Blaze Ayers following a Cougar turnover in the second half. (Photo by Wade Bell)|
North Harrison misfired on its first five shots while Brownstown took a 10-0 lead. T.J. Sanders finally put the Cougars on the board at the 4:08 mark, but the Braves still went on to lead 16-6 after one quarter.
In the second quarter Maverick Becht tried to pull the Cougars back with six quick points, converting on two Brownstown turnovers.
The Cougars still could find no way to gain on the Braves, however, and Taylor Wischmeier swished a three for a 25-12 lead.
North Harrison fought to stay in striking distance, with Chad Eveslage scoring inside and Peter Book getting a free throw. In the last minute of the half, however, Brownstown scored seven straight points while the Cougars missed their last three shots, allowing the Braves to take a 35-15 lead to the locker room at halftime.
The Cougars were hurt when Alex Edwards drew his third foul with 5:13 to go in the half. Martin said the foul took away a big chunk of the Cougars inside presence.
"Our fear has been, 'What's going to happen when he gets in foul trouble?' " Martin said. "Tonight, that fear came about. (Brownstown's Blaze) Ayers is a nice player on the inside, and when we don't have (Edwards) in there that allows the other center to sag off and be more of a clog in the middle. Once Alex sat, then Ayers was able to deflect and be around the basket a lot more. He didn't have to worry about chasing Alex around."
Brownstown quickly punched its lead to 40-15 early in the third quarter as Spencer Allman dumped in two free throws and a three-ball.
Despite some big scoring efforts by Zach Anderson, who had all nine of his points in the fourth quarter, and Lincoln Jones, the Cougars still saw their night go down in the 70-45 defeat.
"I think there were two keys," Martin said. "Number one, anytime somebody plays us in zone we just stand on the perimeter. We holler, 'Cut!' and we holler, 'Cut!' and all we do is stand there and dribble. We holler, 'Cut!' some more and we've got to get in the habit of making a cut after we do something with the ball.
"The second thing was, if you look at our free-throw shooting and the number of layups that we missed, we had a chance to have 28 or 30 points at the half just from hitting some free throws and some layups. We just didn't take the ball aggressive to the bucket."
Anderson led the Cougars with his nine points. North Harrison was just 17 of 43 from the field (39 percent) and 14 of 25 from the free-throw line. North Harrison committed 19 turnovers.
"We've got several guys who are all about the same level," Martin said. "Mav plays hard every night. He's not shot the ball well so far this season and we told him before the game started to just relax. … He did and played well.
"Lincoln gives you everything when he comes out on the floor, and we know Zach can play. He's coming off a couple of knee injuries and we're trying to work him into the rotation. He did a nice job and had nine points in about six minutes."
Wischmeier led Brownstown with 29 points, and Allman finished with 14. Brownstown was 23 of 44 from the field (52 percent) and 12 of 16 from the stripe. The Braves turned the ball over 18 times.
"Taylor Wischmeier is one tremendous shooter," Martin said. "He made three threes, and we had hands in his face. He's a 6-7 shooter and we couldn't get high enough to distract him. Those kinds of things you look at are in the building process. Other parts of the game tonight you look at and say, 'We've got to go back and correct some things.' "
"The guys were disappointed in the way we played tonight, but we talked about practice and they were ready to come in and get back to work," the North Harrison coach said. "Hopefully, during the holidays, we can get some five-on-five and play a little bit better and come out after Christmas and be a better ball club."
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