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JV/Varsity Boys at Winchester 2/1/13

February 4, 2013
Monroe Central Jr.- Sr. High School

WINCHESTER — With his team not as sharp as he’d like and with enough offensive fouls and turnovers to outpace most coaches’ allotments of patience, Winchester coach Rick Owens saw Friday night’s game against Monroe Central as almost a conundrum to work through.

Turns out, his Falcons are pretty good at problem solving.

“It’s a great feeling to figure out a way to win when we do that,” said Owens, whose team committed 18 turnovers in the slow-paced game. “I think we figured out how to win and overcome that.”

Winchester (8-9) prevailed 52-45 at home against the Bears in a game that saw both teams work for long possessions and precious few fast-break points. It was a rematch of a contest played earlier this season, one the Falcons also won in tight, low-scoring fashion, but Friday night the hosts had to come from behind to do it.

Winchester erased a three-point deficit early in the fourth quarter with a 7-0 run. Gatlin Kramer’s 3-point shot tied the game at 37, and Kiante Enis’ free throws moments later gave the hosts their final lead.

Written by: Ben Breiner of The Star Press--The Bears (7-7) best chance to tie the game late came when guard Jake Combs cut down the lane with his team down 45-43, but he was stripped and the Falcons jumped on the slowly rolling ball.

Winchester guard Isaiah Davis played a key role in the Falcons’ comeback with 17 points and one dramatic shot at the buzzer in the third quarter. The Bears appeared to be going into the final eight minutes ahead 33-29, but Davis came down court and hit a 3 to push his team back in it.

After the game, Bears coach Luke Zartman said the shot left its mark.

“We came off the floor deflated even though we were still up,” Zartman said. “That was a big momentum shift and we just didn’t respond very well to adversity.”

Monroe Central had pushed ahead in the third after not leading for 18 consecutive minutes from the first to third quarter. The Bears only committed eight turnovers and guard Chase Bly scored 20.

Owens said his goal was to take away Monroe Central’s outside shots, and while Winchester held the Bears to 5-of-16 shooting from 3-point range, the Bears countered with strong drives and patient offense to create space.

But Davis hit a trio of 3-pointers and Enis finished with 14 points and six rebounds despite foul trouble.

From the outset, the game featured a grinding pace and neither team led by more than four until the final two minutes. But as the Falcons had to figure out how to win despite the turnovers and charges, they were more than comfortable with keeping is slow.

“That’s where we like it,” Davis said.

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