2010-02-03 / Sports

Freshmen Patriots Drop Two Of Last Three, With Win Against THS

Staff Report

Although losing two of their last three outings isn’t something to brag about, Owen Valley freshman boys’ basketball coach Brian Greene can’t be disappointed in the recent play of his Patriots.

Last Wednesday, the Patriots traveled to Terre Haute North, where coach Greene claimed he saw the best game of hoops yet in 2009-10. Unfortunately, the game didn’t end in an OV win as North escaped with a 53-52 overtime victory.

“I see a lot of basketball games in a year, and I haven’t seen a better one all year,” Greene said. “Both teams played well, and played hard. It was a really good experience for our kids to be in that game. We pretty much managed it exactly how we needed to time-wise; our kids stepped up to make big shots, they just were one point better than us.”

OV took a lead in the first, outscoring North 11-7 heading into the second quarter. However, the Terre Haute Patriots managed to turn the tables before the half, taking a 22-17 advantage into intermission.

After the half, OV went back to work, regaining a lead of 33-32 before finding both teams deadlocked at 42-42 at the end of regulation.

OV was led in scoring by 17 points from Josh Parker, followed by 11 from Corbin Worland, which included three shots from threepoint range. Tanner Bennington and Bucky Bewley each tallied nine in the loss, while Nick Walker added six.

Just a night later, the Patriots were back in Terre Haute, this time on the south side. In their second trip in as many days, OV used the career performance of Tanner Bennington’s 32 points to fuel a 49-44 win.

“I’ve coached freshmen for nine years and I’ve never had anybody score 30 points in a game. I knew he was scoring a lot, but when I saw the book, I never would have guessed 30,” Greene added. “He made 15 field goals, and shot 2-for- 5 from the free throw line. We noticed early on that we had him inside and talked about getting him the ball. The kids were really committed to it. They just couldn’t handle him; it’s just a great sign of the way we’re playing right now and how far we’ve come that our guys were passing up shots to get it inside to him, because they knew he was hot. He took advantage of that and just put it in the bucket. It was a great individual performance by him, but it was a team effort.”

OV took an 8-4 first quarter lead and increased the Patriots’ advantage to 20-15 before the half.

In the third, Owen Valley outscored the Braves, 17-12, to carry a 37-27 lead into the final frame before edging out a win with clutch free throws from Corbin Worland, who tallied six in the win.

“I thought we were 10 points better than them, but they had a little guard named Gregory who scored 20 points on six three pointers, four of them in the second half. So every time we were on the verge of pulling away, he would make a shot,” Greene noted. “The way the game ended, we had a three-point lead with 10 seconds left and they had it. I thought we did an outstanding job of guarding him, Josh got through the screen, Nick showed help defense and we forced him to travel. We got the ball back and Corbin Worland made two free throws. It was a really good win for us.”

Nick Walker, Josh Parker and Bucky Bewley scored three, while Austin Hunter added two.

Most recently, the Patriots fell in a highly competitive conference rivalry match-up with Edgewood, 47-45.

OV found itself down 12-10 after the first quarter, and managed to tie the contest at 21-21 at the half.

However, the third quarter proved to be the knife in the Patriots’ back, as Edgewood went on to outscore OV 17-4 in the period. Unfortunately for Greene and the Patriots, outscoring Edgewood 20-9 in the fourth was too little, too late.

“We’re happy that the schedule has toughened up at the end of the season, closer to the conference tournament,” Greene said. “Hopefully we learn from our mistakes, get better from it, and finish strong on Saturday. But we’re awfully disappointed we didn’t get this one.”

OV was led in scoring by 13 from Bennington, followed by nine from both Parker and Bewley. Worland scored eight in the loss, while Hunter added five and Walker chipped in one.

“They had a couple of guys who were a tough match-up for us, so we tried to change our defense to give us the best strategy,” Greene said. “We lost shooters a couple of times, and that hurt us, they made seven three pointers and we shot 12-for-28 from the free throw line, that’s the two points, that how you get it back. After such a poor third quarter, we fought hard to tie it, and had some turnovers late.”

The Patriots (11-4) were scheduled to do battle with Northview on Tuesday evening following a junior varsity contest with the Knights. The Patriots will host the Western Indiana Conference Tournament Saturday at OVHS.

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