|(Updated) Defiance rolls past Eastwood's boys (2-26-13)|
|Written by THOMAS SCHMELTZ, Sentinel Sports Writer|
|Tuesday, 26 February 2013 23:51|
Top-seed Defiance knew what it was doing when it chose to play Eastwood in the Division II sectional semifinals Tuesday night at Swanton High School.
The Bulldogs’ size, strength and athleticism all worked to their advantage as they ended Eastwood’s season with a 58-39 win inside Kevin J. McQuade gymnasium.
Eastwood ends its season at 8-15. PHOTO GALLERY
“They’re a very athletic team and they were able to crash the boards and be physical with us,” Eastwood head coach Matt Routson said of Defiance.
“I don’t know that we’re used to that physicality that they hit us with tonight.”
The Eagles were at a disadvantage in every stat category as they were out-rebounded by a 35-22 margin and only connected on 11 shots from the field.
The lone bright spots were Logan Bess’s team-high 19 points and the Eagles going 13-of-15 from the free-throw line.
Neither of those stats were enough to slow down Defiance’s offensive prowess.
The Bulldogs hit 19 field goals and were led by Trey Guilliam’s game-high 23 points. Katwan Singleton added 16 points as he and Guilliam combined for 18 rebounds.
Complementing Guilliam and Singleton was the team’s defense which started inside with 6-foot-5 forward Jordan Tobias.
Tobias finished with eight points, five rebounds and seven blocked shots.
“We talked about moving the ball around, getting reverses, trying to get some driving lanes; they just weren’t there,” Routson said. “And when we did get a couple, Tobias was there to either contest or change our shot.”
Eastwood’s toughest problem to overcome was the inability of leading scorer Jake Schmeltz to get anything going offensively.
Schmeltz was heavily guarded throughout and was held to eight points as he connected on just one shot from the field.
The junior point-guard entered Tuesday’s contest averaging 18.5 points per game.
“He’s been our leader all year and (Defiance) did a great job of taking some things away from him,” Routson said of Schmeltz. “He also didn’t have his best shooting night.
“That hurt us offensively,” Routson added. “We’ve been relying on him all season to produce for us and he’s done a fantastic job all season. He had an off-night unfortunately.”
But Schmeltz was not the only player lacking production offensively. Besides Bess, no player recorded more than one field goal in the contest.
“We talked about being patient and getting open looks and we struggled to get open looks,” Routson said. “And when we did, unfortunately, we weren’t able to knock a lot of them down.
“We really had a tough time getting what we wanted offensively.”
Behind two 3-pointers from Bess, Eastwood led for the majority of the first quarter, albeit by a slim margin.
The Eagles led 10-7 before a bucket by Singleton cut the lead to one. Then an offensive rebound and putback by Guilliam at the buzzer gave Defiance an 11-10 lead heading into the second quarter.
The Bulldogs opened the second quarter with a 13-0 run and out-scored Eastwood 16-5 in the eight-minute span to take a 27-15 lead by halftime.
The closest the Eagles got was 34-23 before Defiance pulled away late in the third and fourth quarter.
“When somebody hits a shot at the buzzer it deflates you a little bit,” Routson said.
Defiance (16-6) will play Otsego (19-4) in the sectional final on Friday at 6:15 p.m. at Swanton.
DEFIANCE 58, EASTWOOD 39
Peters, 1-0—2; Flipse, 0-2—2; Bradley, 1-0—2; Schmeltz, 1-6—8; Dierker, 0-0—0; Rahe, 0-0—0; Bruning, 1-0—2; Bockbrader, 0-0—0; Faykosh, 1-2—4; Bess, 2-4-3—19; Leuck, 0-0—0; Hoodlebrink, 0-0—0. TOTALS: 7-4-13—39.
Tobias, 3-2—8; Smith, 0-0—0; Guilliam, 7-1-9—26; Verhoff, 0-0—0; Detter, 0-3—3; Batt, 0-0—0; Singleton, 4-2-2—16; Layne, 1-0—2; Turner, 0-0—0; Schrag, 0-1—1; Pearson, 1-0—2. TOTALS: 16-3-17—58.
EASTWOOD 10 5 9 15 —39
DEFIANCE 11 16 11 20 —58
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 February 2013 10:34|
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