by JOHN HOWLEY / sportingpumpkin.com
Amanda-Clearcreek held New Hope to two points in the fourth quarter to pull out a 44-32 win.
The Aces knew they were going to have their work cut out for them Friday night.
“They’re very well coached, I’ve got a tremendous amount of respect for the stuff coach Roese does here,” AC coach Jamie Justus said. “The big kid (Lane Bruning) is very skilled inside, the little point guard (Hunter Cavanaugh) they’ve got is good and they’ve got a lot of guys they surround those two with who can knock down shots and make things happen. We knew we were going to be in for a dog fight tonight.
“I thought we had a pretty well designed game plan put in place and we came out and executed it.”
Bruning got the Statesmen off to a quick start sinking a pair of three-pointers in the first minute and New Hope led 15-9 after the first quarter.
The second quarter went in favor of the Aces as they scored 14 of the first 15 points of the quarter to get up 23-16 as New Hope started 0-6 from the field. New Hope had a good finish with a pair of three-pointers from Cavanaugh and a basket from Bruning to lead 24-23. Tucker Shamblin finished off a seven-point period as he scored for the Aces in the closing seconds to put his team back on top 25-24 at the half.
The second half started with Bruning scoring to put the Statesmen back on top but the Aces answered with a free throw from Cade Young, a basket from Clayton Rhyne and a basket from Nathan Hunter put them back on top to stay. The third quarter ended with AC up 34-30.
The Aces scored the first six points of the fourth and held the Statesmen to a single basket in securing the win.
“We talked at halftime that we thought we could turn up the pressure,” Justus said. “We thought if we made it more of a physical basketball game that we kind of had the edge on that.”
After committing only four turnovers in the first half, the Aces forced the Statesmen to commit nine in the second half.
“They were bigger and stronger than we were,” New Hope coach Shane Roese said. “They had scouted us well. I don’t think it was a lack of effort on our part, they were just more physical. We couldn’t find a way to score was the biggest thing. Everything we tried — they contested every shot.
“I really respect what Jamie is doing over there. He does a great job coaching those kids and he does it the right way.”
The AC defense contributed to New Hope going 13-35 from the field — 4-13 in the second half.
“When you miss as many as we did, there’s a lot of defensive rebounds to be had,” Roese said.
And the Aces were able to get control of 32 rebounds while the Statesmen grabbed 17. Clayton Rhyne grabbed seven for AC while Nathan Hunter and Peyton Cassley grabbed six each wih Cade Young getting four.
“Peyton Cassley and Cade Young, we tell them all the time that they’re dogs on the boards,” Justus said. “They come out, they’re big, they’re physical, they’re athletic and they do a tremendous job for us. They don’t get a lot of the credit sometimes, but they do a lot of the little things that kind of make us go.”
Roese said he’d hoped his team would be able to breakthrough but the Aces weren’t giving an opening.
“A lot of times when a team is that aggressive you can rotate the basketball, feed the post and kick it backside – even the times we got some nice rotation and some good ball movement, they were still there,” he said. “We didn’t have a clean look all night outside outside of Lane’s first couple buckets there to start the game.”
Cavanaugh was the game’s leading scorer with 14 points and Bruning added 10 for New Hope.
Tucker Shamblin led AC with 11 and Tayvon Miller had 10.
The Aces (7-10) are home Saturday night hosting Circleville (4-13) in an MSL Buckeye matchup.
The Statesmen (6-7) have even less time to rest up as they welcome in Liberty Christian at 1:30 Saturday looking to get back on the winning side of the ledger.
“Those kids have given great effort. We have great leadership in that locker room,” Roese said. “It’s a little frustrating to work that hard and not come up with a win.”
Amanda-Clearcreek 44, New Hope Christian 32
Amanda-Clearcreek — Clayton Rhyne 3-0-6, Johnnie Weaver 1-0-2, Tucker Shamblin 5-1-11, Tayvon Miller 3-2-10, Nate Hunter 2-0-4, Peyton Cassley 3-2-8, Cade Young 1-1-3. Three-point goals — Miller (2). Total — 18-41 6-9 44.
New Hope — Hunter Cavanaugh 5-0-14, Marek McCallister 1-0-2, Simon Kuhlwein 2-0-4, Ethan Cook 1-0-2, Lane Bruning 4-0-10. Three-point goals — Cavanaugh (3), Bruning (2). Total — 13-35 1-5 32.
Quarter scores 1 2 3 4 F
Amanda-Clearcreek 9 16 9 10 44
New Hope 15 9 6 2 32