Garaway Boys Basketball

Harvest Prep reaps the benefit of bulls-eye shooting in downing Pirates

Austin Monigold and the Pirates found the going rough against Harvest Prep

The Garaway Pirates boys basketball team has some very good opponents on the horizon, teams that are capable of delivering a loss to the Pirates if they don’t play well.

After their game versus Harvest Prep at the Tuscarawas Central Catholic Holiday Showcase on Saturday, Dec. 30, Terry Rowe’s crew ought to be able to deal with anything that comes their way.

Harvest Prep shocked the Pirates right out of the gate, bolting to a 13-0 lead that quickly grew to 18-2, and the Warriors just kept pouring it on in a 93-62 win.

For Garaway, taking on a team as talented as Harvest Prep was eye-opening, and Rowe said that hopefully seeing that level of competition will help slow the game down a bit for the upcoming slate of tough games.

“They are so good and so athletic and quick that we knew coming in that the level of speed and play that they present is a different level,” Rowe said. “Hopefully that is the best combination of talent and speed we will face through our schedule and even through sectionals and districts. We will find out quickly because over the next three weeks we have some really good competition, so we will find out pretty quickly where we stand. Hopefully this is a growing experience and we get better from this.”

The Warriors came off the opening tip and simply couldn’t miss, literally, making their first eight shots. That early 18-2 run included seven points from superstar forward Claudio Penha and five from Soul Hines. The only blip on the radar for Garaway was Ethan Roden’s lay-in.

“Those first four minutes we looked shocked and rusty,” Rowe said of his team. “We were coming off a long lay-off, and they took it at us pretty hard. We looked overwhelmed. But once we got our bearings, we played some pretty decent basketball over the last 12 minutes of the first half.”

But after that initial four-minute span, the Pirates seemed to finally catch their breath and settle in. Roden continued playing well inside, scoring again on a beautiful pass from Corey Troyer. A three-ball from Malik Shaffer, a layup from Erik Miller and Roden’s score inside just before the first quarter buzzer allowed the Pirates to creep back to within 23-11.

If fans thought the Warriors were scoring big in the first quarter, they were about to get treated to something entirely different in the second period.

Shaffer’s second trey got Garaway within 23-14. Hines hit a 3-pointer, Roden scored inside and then Hines struck again from downtown. Trevor Donaldson drilled a three-ball, CJ Anderson and Hines connected from deep, and Harvest Prep led 35-21. However, the Pirates came on with a scoring surge of their own as a score from Roden and two nice moves in the paint from Austin Fearon got the Pirates to within eight at 35-27.

It seemed as though the Pirates were poised to make a game of it. The Warriors felt otherwise, going on a huge run over the final three minutes of the half with Penha scoring the Warriors’ final nine points, the final two on a thunderous dunk just as time expired.

“We have a lot of guys on our team that can shoot the ball well, and that makes us very hard to defend,” Harvest Prep head coach David Dennis, Sr. said. “We moved up to Div. III this year. There are some challenges ahead of us, but these kids want to prove they can compete there, so we beefed up our schedule, and all of these games are just helping us to get better.”

Leading 52-33 at the half, Anderson simply took over the game in the third period, showcasing a series of moves that Rowe called “next level moves.”

The smooth sophomore scored 15 of his game-high 29 points in the period, the final three coming on a shake-and-bake step-back 3-pointer of which Rowe said, “That’s the kind of thing you see in Div. I basketball.”

Now trailing 80-46, all the Pirates could do was show they were willing to fight until the end. They did, as Brevin Weaver and Austin Miller each scored three points late, but the game was over long before that happened.

“I felt that in the second half we made a lot of poor decisions,” Rowe said.

Anderson’s 29 led all scorers while Penha drove home 27 and Hines added 17. For Rowe, it wasn’t the two top scorers who made life difficult for his team, but rather the way Hines killed his team early.

“We knew we would have a hard time stopping their two big guns, but we never saw Hines shoot the ball like he did today,” Rowe said. “We had to lay off somebody, and when that happens, they become almost impossible to defend. Offensively we played OK, but we have to find a way against good basketball teams like that to make better defensive stops so our offense can be more effective.”

Harvest Prep has now made six straight appearances at TCC’s Holiday Showcase, and Dennis said it is an experience his kids always look forward to.

“Great basketball and great hospitality, you  just can’t beat it,” Dennis said.

Shaffer led the Pirates with 12 points while Roden and Fearon each scored 10. Donaldson tossed in nine.

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