Garaway Boys Basketball

Pirate D leads to convincing win over Knights

Knights and Pirates duke it out in The Dungeon

The Dec. 27 contest between visiting Garaway and host West Holmes featured two teams heading in opposite directions. The Pirates came into The Dungeon having won three games in a row after dropping their first three. The Knights were still seeking their first victory of the season.

Both teams continued on their current arcs, as Pirate Malik Shaffer knocked down a pair of 3-pointers to start the game and propelled Garaway to a 67-48 victory.

Perhaps more importantly, West Holmes coach Keith Troyer sent a message to his starting crew that playing time is something that is not a given, and attitude and effort are important aspects of a team game that can not be overlooked. Troyer went to his bench early in the second half and gave his subs plenty of playing time throughout the final 14 minutes.

After Shaffer got the Pirates rolling, Chase Wells scored inside for the Knights and Shane Jones scored on a put-back to trim the Garaway lead to 6-4. Trevor Donaldson then canned a jumper, and Wells followed up with one of his own to make it 8-6.

 

 

 

 

 

“I thought Trevor played a huge role for us tonight,” said Garaway coach Terry Rowe. “He played great defense on (Chase) Wells, who is a tough kid to guard, and he shot with confidence.”

Donaldson and Chance Wells then traded treys, before Garaway’s Ty Hamsher lofted a perfect lob pass near the rim to Karson Schrock, who laid it in. After Blaine Hager drove home a three-ball from the corner, Garaway’s Phillip Gebhardt calmly beat the buzzer on a long 3-pointer to give the Pirates a 16-12 advantage in what was shaping up to be a good game.

 

 

 

 

 

Garaway’s defense dug deep in the second quarter and limited West Holmes to a pair of Jones free throws, tallying 10 points of their own to push the lead to 26-14 at the half.

 

 

 

 


“We’ve done some different things defensively the last three games that has really paid off,” Rowe said. “We are starting to make a difference on defense, and I told our kids that was probably the best half we have put together from a defensive standpoint all season.

Troyer gave the Pirates props for their aggressive defense, but said his Knights were making it easy on them by taking lazy cuts and not giving their best effort.

“We had no energy offensively,” Troyer said. “And if you don’t cut hard and give effort, you aren’t going to get open.”

Troyer challenged his starters at the half, telling them he would give them two minutes to show that they wanted to turn things around. That didn’t happen, as the Pirates went on a 10-2 run led by Hamsher, and Garaway’s lead grew to 36-16. That was when Troyer emptied the bench, sending in a new five.

 

 

 

 

 

Trenton Bridenthal started a small West Holmes run with two free throws. After Donaldson was fouled shooting a 3-pointer and made all three free throws, Bryce Myers hit a triple for the Knights. Hamsher scored on a pair of free throws, but the Knights ended the quarter with a Brayden Chaney three-ball and two free throws from Jones as time expired. Connor Roach drove hard to the hole for a score to begin the fourth quarter, and the Knights were as close as they had been in a long time at 41-28. However, Gebhardt pushed in the dagger by scoring eight points, hitting two 3-pointers and two free throws to push the lead back to 51-34. West Holmes got drives from Jones and Chaney to trim the lead back to 13, but they simply ran out of gas, and Garaway was making everything in sight. Donaldson dropped in another trey, Joel Honigford scored a pair of free throws and when Ben Mason scored inside, it was 61-38, and time had run out on West Holmes.

 

 

 

The Pirates were paced by Gebhardt’s 17 points, which included five 3-pointers. Donaldson scored a season-high 15 points, while Hamsher added 14, Shaffer scored nine and Schrock added four.

“We had some different guys step up and shoot the ball well tonight,” Rowe said. “We are continuing to gain confidence in our shooting. We were able to space the floor with our shooters and I really like the fact that we got to the free throw line and knocked down our free throws (Garaway was 15-of-17). We are starting to find a rhythm now and our guards are starting to make shot they didn’t make early in the year.”

For West Holmes, Jones played a spectacular game, pouring in 17 points and grabbing five rebounds. Roach, Bridenthal and Chaney each tacked on six points, while Chase Wells added four and Hager, Kinsey, Roach, Myers and Chance Wells all scored three. Roach paced the Knights on the board with six.

Troyer said what happens next is now up to how much effort his players want to put into the game.

“It’s about attitude,” Troyer said. “We will play the kids who want to be here and play hard. There’s a lot of soul-searching we have to do. Everyone is going to go up against adversity, and so far we haven’t handled it the right way.”

Troyer said the second half effort from a number of bench players exemplified the effort they were looking for. Jones in particular played his heart out, and when on the floor, that all-out effort rubbed off on the other Knights on the floor. Troyer said Connor Roach, Ethan Kinsey and Brayden Chaney all provided some great effort in the loss.

“Those guys played as hard as they could, and that is all that we can ask of these guys,” Troyer said.

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