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Home » Boys' Basketball News

Defense Rules in Sullivan's Win Over Bulldogs

February 17, 2014
St Clair Athletics



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In what turned out to be a defensive struggle, St. Clair and Sullivan slugged it out for 32 minutes to decide its boys basketball game Friday night.

Trailing for much of the contest, the Eagles came to life down the stretch to escape St. Clair High School with a 38-31 Four Rivers Conference victory.

It was another single-digit setback for the Bulldogs (4-14, 1-2), their eighth of the season.

“I lose sleep at night, but I don’t give up hope. The kids keep fighting, clawing and getting better,” said St. Clair Head Coach Casey Korn. “We did some really good things. We were flying around. We rebounded the heck out of the ball. We’re getting better.”

Sullivan (17-4, 3-0) didn’t get on the scoreboard until 5:20 remaining in the second quarter.

The good news for the Eagles was that St. Clair had scored just five points at that point.

The Eagles had a difficult time dealing with St. Clair’s 2-3 zone defense.

“We didn’t attack their zone very well and we didn’t knock many shots down. We didn’t get many shots for a while,” said Sullivan Head Coach Dino McKinney. “Defensively, we were there all night long. They had a good game plan and did a good job. It’s hard for us to get in our press when we’re not scoring.”

There was good news for the Bulldogs, despite the loss.

Seniors Ben Feddersen and Spencer Crumbaugh saw their first action of the season after missing the previous games with knee injuries.

“I can’t teach someone to be 6-7 (Feddersen) and I can’t teach someone to have Spencer’s athletic ability. Both of those guys really are going to help. I’m happy with the way they competed,” Korn said. “You can tell Ben was a little nervous. He knocked his first couple of shots off the rim. Spencer, on the other hand, comes in the game and knocks down a three, nothing but net. We’re only going to get better as we progress, as long as everyone stays bought into the system.”

Reno Jones led St. Clair with nine points, 11 rebounds and four steals.

Damon Arnold finished with six points and three rebounds.

Kevin Cox collected five points, two rebounds and two assists.

Crumbaugh netted three points. Kyler Waldo, Keola Bursey, Harley Love and Feddersen each scored two points.

“Feddersen’s return helps them. If he’s standing behind someone on the post, it makes it difficult to score,” McKinney said. “Ryan Juergens played hard on defense. He did a good job on Reno. We did a pretty good job on Arnold. We lost him twice. We held them to 31 points. Those two kids (Jones and Arnold) are averaging 32 combined, so it was a pretty good job.”

Justin Biermann scored 11 points to pace Sullivan. Heath Schatz finished with 10 points. Ryan Juergens scored seven points. Michael McDermott had six points.

St. Clair led 5-0 after one quarter and held a 13-4 advantage with 2:47 left in the second quarter.

The Bulldogs took a 17-11 advantage into halftime.

Sullivan grabbed a 23-21 lead after three quarters when Logan Hoffman hit a three-pointer at the buzzer.

The Eagles maintained the lead throughout the fourth quarter.

“In the third quarter when they started scoring, it was because they got second and third opportunities. It wasn’t the first shot that beat us, it was the rebounds that beat us,” Korn said. “We also turned it over way too much.”

It was a 31-28 Sullivan lead with 2:33 remaining in the fourth quarter.

“We’re usually a really good free-throw shooting team, but we missed seven or eight in a row at one point,” McKinney said. “We’re glad to get out with a win. If someone would have offered us 17-4 right now, I think I would have taken it. We don’t have a lot of basketball players. We have athletes who work hard and play basketball. If they didn’t play as hard as they do, we wouldn’t be 17-4.”

A large crowd took in the game for Lee McKinney Coaches vs. Cancer night and St. Clair’s courtwarming.

 


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