In basketball a team versus a superstar rarely goes the way of the individual. On Friday, March 2, the Garaway Pirates put that theory to the test when they hosted Chase Yoho and the Bellaire Big Reds.
Garaway head coach Terry Rowe said Yoho’s 2,000-plus career points were more than his entire team had scored in their collective varsity careers.
But the old adage stayed tried and true as the Pirates used their depth and some good shooting from downtown to carve apart Bellaire and cruise to a sectional title with an 81-53 win.
Garaway proved to be too much across the board, and an early lead was never relinquished as the Pirates led the whole way.
Malik Shaffer tossed down a 3-pointer to begin the game, setting the tone for a rabid first quarter that saw the two teams racing up and down the floor at break-neck speed.
Chase Yoho, Big Reds’ gifted scorer, who ended his career with the loss with 2,152 career points, drove the lane for two before the Pirates reeled off eight straight including threes from Shaffer and Karson Schrock.
Bellaire called a time-out and settled back in and got it back to within 17-15 before Garaway closed out the quarter with a rush. Shaffer canned his third triple of the quarter, Austin Fearon followed suit, and on consecutive trips, Corey Troyer found Ethan Roden inside with nice passes for a 27-15 Pirates’ lead.
Yoho scored four quick points to start the second period, but with Garaway leading 29-21, Schrock scored on a nice drive, Erik Miller knocked down a trey and Troyer drove the paint for a score that pushed the Pirates’ lead to 36-21.
When Roden scored again inside to end the half, Garaway had maintained that lead at 43-27.
Garaway got triples from Trevor Donaldson and Shaffer, but Yoho helped ignite a Big Reds’ run that drew Bellaire to within nine points at 51-42, forcing head coach Terry Rowe to call a time-out.
Rowe apparently spoke some incredible words of wisdom during that 60-second span.
Miller hit two free throws and then got a steal that eventually found the ball back in his hands for a perfect 3-pointer. Moments later Miller struck again from downtown, and when Troyer completed the quarter with a layup, Garaway was on a 10-0 run that gave it a cushy 61-42 lead.
A Fearon drive and Donaldson’s three-ball gave the Pirates its biggest lead at 66-44, and Donaldson hit another trey after a Big Reds’ bucket, making it a 23-point bulge. Scores inside by Holden Yoder and Austin Miller and a Zach Immel 3-pointer left little doubt as to where this one was heading.
Garaway’s acumen from beyond the arc was a big reason for the win. The Pirates were able to force Bellaire out of their zone as they shot well from deep.
“They were in their two-three zone, and we just shot them out of it,” Donaldson said. “It’s always nice to be able to shoot a team out of a zone like that.”
The Pirates were led by Roden, who scored 16 points on 8-of-9 shooting while adding eight rebounds. Roden’s inside game opened up, thanks to his teammates, who canned 14 three-pointers on the night.
“I like to see us shoot that well because I know that eventually it’s going to free up the inside,” Roden said of the Pirates long-range success. “I just like being there to help, that I’m there for them if they miss it.”
Miller scored 14 points, bolstered by four threes, while Shaffer scored all 12 of his points on treys. Donaldson’s three triples led to nine points, Troyer added eight points, and Fearon and Schrock each tacked on seven. Garaway’s 14 three-pointers were only part of the offensive explosion. The Pirates connected on an impressive 17-of-22 action shot from inside the arc, making it impossible for Bellaire to mount a comeback, despite Yoho’s 23 points.
Stopping Yoho, who was averaging more than 26 points per contest coming in, fell largely on the shoulders of Donaldson. The tenacious senior defender did a nice job of harassing Yoho all night long.
“It was a challenge,” Donaldson said. “He was a bit bigger than me, so I had to be strong and just trust my help-side defense. To be able to hold him to 23 points was pretty nice.”