Updated 11:45 p.m., Bobcat boys beat Springfield, 64-55 (1-25-13) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mike Godfrey Sentinel Sports Writer   
Friday, 25 January 2013 23:04
The combination of monster games from senior Vitto Brown and sophomore LaMontá Stone, and the effective execution of the defensive game plan allowed Bowling Green to down Springfield 64-55 Friday.
“This one goes to our young men and their effort and to Matt Karaffa (freshman coach who played for the Bowling Green Falcons). He did a heck of a job scouting Springfield,” said BG coach Von Graffin. “We knew who was going to drive it and who was going to shoot it. We did a great job defensively.”
Especially through the first three quarters, the Bobcats effectively got through screens, limited driving lanes, and took away the Blue Devil inside game.
As a result, Springfield (9-5, 5-4) was a horrendous 9-of-35 from the field during the first three quarters, at which point it trailed 48-31.
Applying pressure at the point was Stone whose steal and coast-to-coast finish with 57 seconds left in the first period had BG up 19-7. The 5-foot-6 Stone tallied 22 points, grabbed six rebounds, handed out five assists, and got after it defensively.
“I just know as a small guard I have to get into people, and that’s one of my strengths,” said Stone, whose team is 8-8 on the season and 6-3 in the Northern Lakes League. “Guarding man-to-man, I have to get into people and make them feel pressure as that will affect the whole game.
“Number 22 (Markese Hicks) and 12 (Curtis Hassell), we knew they were shooters, so we had to get through the screens or they were going to knock down shots,” said Stone of the Springfield duo who each had but one first half basket.
The second quarter was a rather putrid affair as the teams combined for nine turnovers while converting just 5-of-22 field goals. BG led 21-9 halfway through the quarter before Hicks (12 points) hit his only first-half hoop and Marquan Hodges (16 points)  converted a steal at 4:04 to pull the Blue Devils within 21-14.
“We withstood their run in the first half and extended the lead again,” said Graffin whose team recovered to lead 30-16 at the half.
Brown, whose stat line consisted of 30 points, 12 rebounds, eight blocked shots, scored 17 points in the opening half including an 8-for-8 effort from the free-throw line.
“Vitto is showing that when you shoot the ball all the time in the summer time, and you put in the time that Vitto Brown has (you’re going to be a scorer),” said Graffin of his 6-8 post who converted 9-of-16 from the field on the night.
Brown’s 3-pointer at the 3:19 mark of the third quarter had BG up 44-24.
Soon thereafter, Brown picked up this third foul and headed to the bench. The Blue Devils were then able to get the ball inside to its 6-9 junior Logan Weimer (13 points).
“When we’re up 44-24, it wasn’t because we were great offensively,” added Graffin whose team was 22-of-50 from the field on the night. “We were playing defense tonight. That was key in getting us going.”
Stone opened the final quarter with his second triple, and the Bobcats were seemingly on their way to a rout, up 51-31. However, BG foul issues allowed the Blue Devils, whose full court pressure sped the Bobcats up, to claw back to within 60-53 with 1:05 left.
“As soon as we went zone after both of our bigs (Brown and Nolan Dill) had three fouls, they hit a couple of threes, got the ball inside too easily, and ran some points off in a hurry,” said Graffin. “We got out of the zone, guarded man-to-man, and luckily the clock ran out. We took some hurried shots (during the Springfield run).”
Stone’s nine fourth-quarter points were part of a torrid 9-of-13 shooting effort from the field for the sophomore.
“We had a couple of days to shoot, and we talked about him (Stone) being in rhythm (when he shoots),” said Graffin. “He hit a nice three in transition (in the second quarter) to get himself going tonight. He’s a very coachable player.”
“I just knew that I had to keep getting in the gym and getting up shots because I knew they were going to lay off me, and I had to be able to knock that (outside) shot down,” said Stone.  “I hit them today.”
“It’s a loose group. We’re having fun, and we’re back to .500,” finished Graffin whose team is tied for second in the NLL two games behind Anthony Wayne.

Hodges, 4-8—16; Roy, 2-0—4; Hassell, 1-1—3; Jackson, 0-0—0; Hicks, 0-3-3—12; Shy, 0-0—0; Good, 1-1-0—5; Weimer, 4-5—13; Jones, 1-0—2. TOTALS: 13-4-17—55.
Stone, 7-2-2—22; Donaldson, 0-0—0; Herringshaw, 1-1-2—7; E. Gardner, 1-1-0—5; M. Gardner, 0-0—0; Brown, 7-2-10—30; Dill, 0-0—0. TOTALS: 16-6-14—64.
SPRINGFIELD    7    9    15    24    —55
BGHS    19    11    18    16    —64
Last Updated on Saturday, 26 January 2013 00:43

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