The Pirates stumbled tonight against the Strafford Indians, allowing the Indians' defensive pressure to hold them to only one basket in the first quarter. The Indians outpaced the Pirates throughout the remainder of the game, defeating them 52-33 and improving to 11-2 for the season.
The Pirates could not find their momentum and faltered at the net. Garrett Cline was the lone scorer in the first quarter, scoring 2 of his 7 points on the night. The Indians executed a solid defense that threw the Pirates off their mark.
Strafford head coach Mike Wilson knows defense is their strength.
"Our defense has been our best thing all year. I thought we played really well on that end of the floor," said Wilson.
The Indians' Kyle Foley led the night with 16 points, 4 of those coming in the first quarter. Alexander Blake powered the Indians' first-quarter blowout with 6 points. Brady Collier contributed by going 2 for 2 at the foul line and nailing three-pointer. Dallas Hester added a 2-point shot that clinched the Indians' first-quarter lead of 17-2.
Ash Grove head coach Jeremy Nicholson tried to help his team recover from a difficult opening.
"Their defense, they pressure you and get you playing a little faster than you can,” said Nicholson. “We got out of rhythm. We struggled and started feeling sorry for ourselves a little bit. That's what happens."
The Indians' offense remained steady but not stellar as the Pirates finally started scoring at the net.
"We were kind of helter skelter on offense, with some uncharacteristic turnovers," said Wilson.
The Pirates were never able to bounce back from that dismal first quarter. Nicholson plans to get back to basics with his team.
"Dribbling, passing, blocking out--Basketball 101, that's what we're going to get back to on Monday morning," said Nicholson.
Strafford travels to Camdenton on Saturday for the Laker Shootout against Crystal City. Ash Grove meets Walnut Grove at home on Jan.22nd.
Ash Grove 2 9 9 13 -- 33
Strafford 17 12 12 11 -- 52
Strafford: Kyle Foley 16, Brady Collier 13, Blake Alexander 8, Dylan Edwards 6, Grant Boswell 4, Dallas Hester 3, Dalton Taylor 2
Ash Grove: Cody Allhands 8, Garrett Cline 7, Kaleb Blackwell 5, Ben Weinreis 5, Alex O'Brien 4, Zach Dinwiddie 2, Quinton Frame 2