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McCutcheon Boys Basketball Team Downs Clinton Prairie

January 16, 2011
McCutcheon High School



Easy victory boosts McCutcheon's confidence

By CLYDE HUGHES • For the Journal & Courier • January 16, 2011

McCutcheon took the frustrations of a four-game losing streak out on Clinton Prairie, jumping out to an early 16-point lead before cruising to a 75-32 victory Saturday night at Resler Gymnasium.

It was the Mavericks' first win since beating Logansport 53-42 on Dec. 18, and it was their largest victory margin this season as well.

"It was real nice to have our kids come out and play well together," McCutcheon coach Rick Peckinpaugh said. "We had balanced scoring. That's kind of what we thought we would have all year, four of five guys scoring from eight to 12 points. It was good to see them play well."

Peckinpaugh tinkered with his starting lineup, inserting sophomore Nathan Acree and bringing seniors Brady Knoy, Troy Ashley and Clyde Greyer off the bench. The trio responded by scoring 12 points apiece to lead the Mavericks. Junior Vince Hunsicker added 10.

"We're trying to find better combinations that can move the ball better and quicker." Peckinpaugh said. "Some guys do better starting and some guys do better coming off the bench. What I want them to understand is that it doesn't matter who starts. We mixed it up tonight and gave other people a chance."

Knoy said after Friday night's Hoosier Crossroads Conference loss to Westfield, where McCutcheon lost a fourth-quarter lead, the win helped renew some of the Mavericks' confidence.

"It's nice to see all the hard work we put in during practice finally pay off," Knoy said. "We just kept pushing and playing our game instead of playing someone else's game. We're pretty quick, so our steals tonight gave us points and points gave us energy and it just built up from there."

The Mavericks scored the game's first 11 points and jumped to an 18-2 lead after the first quarter. McCutcheon forced Clinton Prairie into five turnovers while the Gophers made 1 of 7 shots, setting the tone for the remainder of the game.

"We were very active on defense and got some steals and that led to some easy offensive buckets for us," Peckinpaugh said. "We told our kids we had to bounce back after a game we could have won last night and stay focused. After a game like Friday, we could have come in flat, not focused and lazy on defense. I thought we played hard."

Clinton Prairie coach Eric Ulrich, a former teacher at McCutcheon, would only see things get worse for the Gophers. McCutcheon stretched its lead to 39-15 by halftime and to more than 40 points by the fourth quarter.

Dillon Mang scored 10 points to lead Clinton Prairie.

"We came out flat and on our heels, and we never got into the flow of the game with their pressure," Ulrich said. "It just snowballed in a hurry. I guess we know what we need to work on in practice. They have some athleticism and quickness that we don't typically see. We need to handle the ball a lot better against the full court pressure."

Knoy said he hopes the Mavericks' play will spill over into upcoming contests.

"We have to win the games we can win," Knoy said. "We've got to give that fight. Tonight's game will show us that we're a pretty good team and we can go out there and compete. If we play hard, execute our offense and get steals, we're a pretty good team."

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