In a day that will be remembered as a great day in South Webster, the Jeeps and Lady Jeeps both walked away with huge victories on Saturday over Glenwood and Leesburg Fairfield respectively.
Lady Jeeps d. Leesburg Fairfield 61-41
The South Webster Lady Jeeps needed a great defensive performance to take down Fairfield, and that is exactly what they were able to come up with by limiting the Lions to just 41 total points, and 28 of those came in the final three quarters. The impressive defensive effort is exactly what head coach Ryan Dutiel was hoping to see from his team.
“We try to emphasize ball pressure at all times,” said Dutiel following his team’s 20 point win Saturday afternoon, “We stress defense even more so than offense. That’s been something since Coach Johnson was here, and we want to keep that going because she sure set a high bar for us to follow.”
Maddie Cook, the Trevecca Nazarene University fall signee, had an excellent game to help lift the Lady Jeeps second win of the season. The senior scorer and playmaker hit three threes which helped get her total to 18 points on the night, as well as several assists and double digit rebounds on the Jeeps home court Saturday afternoon.
“Maddie is our leader, unquestionably. She’s our leader on the court, she’s our leader in the locker room, everyone looks to her. She can dictate the entire tempo of a game, or even a practice, by just what she does or what she says. She’s an excellent, excellent kid. She’s obviously going to play at the next level, and it shows. She’s like having another coach on the floor. She sees things, and then relays them back to me.”
South Webster’s leading scorers for the game, other than Cook who was the team high scorer, include: talented freshman Bri Claxon who finished with 14, Baylee Cox who finished with 11, and guard Kenzie Hornikel who finished with 8 points.
The Lady Jeeps will next prepare for the Valley Indians who will come to face them on their home court on Monday as they hope to improve to 1-1 in SOC II play, and a game in which Dutiel knows his team must be playing their best basketball for them to come out on top.
“The main thing is we have to work on a few things that Valley does so well. Coach Merritt does such a great job. We have to tighten up our defense in a couple places, especially in the post. We have to be ready to try and get the ball out off the boards and up the floor.”
Jeeps d. Glenwood 63-61
An instant classic. For those in attendance on both sides, the heightened level of play from both teams was incredible; From the start when the Jeeps started off 4/5 from three, to Glenwood closing out the first half with a 36-32 lead, to the moment when Tyler Caldwell stepped to the line for three free throws that would have gave the Tigers the lead with under five seconds to play. The rematch of March’s district semifinal game which saw South Webster victorious lived up to all the hype and expectations.
“We had them right where we wanted them,” said Glenwood head coach Adam Cox following the Tigers loss Saturday night, “We had an opportunity to win a game on the road, had to make some free throws and take care of the ball a little bit. If you told me our guys were going to respond with the game plan I had laid out for them and executed to give us a chance to win with Tyler Caldwell on the line, I’d take it every time, especially against a group and a team like South Webster.”
“Man were they making shots,” said South Webster head coach Brenton Cole, “Early on, it was back and forth like a punching match with both sides making three after three. Inside (Kyle) Sexton, inside Shiloah (Blevins). I didn’t count how many lead changes there were, but there were quite a few for a high school basketball game for 32 minutes. It really just came down to the end, and thank goodness we were able to come out with a W.”
The Jeeps came out on top in the end thanks to the play of two players who really excelled when their team needed a basket or a big play on the defensive end: senior forward Shiloah Blevins who finished with 21 points and sophomore Tanner Voiers who finished with 13 points.
“I’d like to say I orchestrated Shiloah’s play with all of my play calls, but it was basically get Shiloah the ball and get out of the way. Credit to them on defense, our plays just weren’t really working. Thank goodness I’ve got the luxury of a player like Shiloah Blevins to help get us the victory tonight. Tanner Voiers really stepped up to the challenge. Hit an early shot for us, really played well down the stretch. If we didn’t have that big bubble in the beginning when they got hot, we would have been buried.”
Cox was pleased by the play of Caldwell and Sexton, who each broke the 20 point mark with 23 and 20 respectively, even though his team fell just short in the waning moments of their first road game of the season.
“I love Tyler Caldwell and Kyle Sexton. Those kids missed free throws and they’re in the locker room telling me they let me down, but they didn’t let me down. They’re kids, and they showed me tonight how big of fighters they really are, and we’re going to be around for a while.”
Cox was also very complimentary of his opponents, many of which he himself helped coach in soccer when they were in middle school.
“Shiloah, hats off to him, he played a great game. Andrew Smith and Tanner Voiers both played great games. Voiers really stepped up and showed up as a sophomore and hit some big shots.”
The Tigers will get a week off from games before they travel to Symmes Valley next Friday night to face the Vikings in their opening SOC I game of the season.
As for the Jeeps, Cole’s group will host the Fairland Dragons of the OVC on Tuesday in hopes to claim their second win of the season.
“We need to get better all the way around. Sexton had 20, Caldwell had 23. Two guys in the 20’s and Saunders had 12 points. They can score and put up some points. We strive to hold teams to under that, we’re hoping to be able to hold teams in the 40’, not the 60’s. We really need to clamp down on defense more, and we need to work on running our plays.”
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org