SOUTH WEBSTER — South Webster, while it was the season opener and against an over-matched East squad, was often in mid-season form.
That’s because the host Jeeps, in the non-league boys basketball lid-lifter on Friday night, never had a trouble spot against the visiting Tartans — cruising to a 71-22 victory in a matchup between neighboring Scioto County clubs.
It was South Webster’s first game since the graduation of standout and Division IV all-Ohioan Shiloah Blevins, who was responsible for most of the Jeeps’ scoring, rebounding and shot-blocking from their sectional championship team a season ago.
But Brenton Cole, the Jeeps’ third-year head coach, talked about “coming out and turning up the pressure” to turn the Tartans over.
They did just that.
“We knew the job we needed to do. It’s a varsity game, so get out there and get hands in passing lanes, look to get steals and shoot layups on fast breaks when we can get them,” said Cole. “We shot well tonight, and from three always helps, but we wanted to limit their possessions. When you don’t take breaks on defense, it can turn out bad for the other team. We forced a lot of turnovers, and when Devyn (Coriell) and Trae (Zimmerman) are out running and pushing the ball, it’s fun to watch when they are getting layups off those. It all starts with the defensive end and putting pressure on.”
Simply put, the Tartans struggled offensively as the Jeeps defended well.
“For the most part of the first half, we just didn’t do a good job of taking care of the basketball. We had a lot of turnovers early, and we let it frustrate us. When we were able to get a good look or a good shot, we weren’t able to knock them down,” said East head coach Adam Bailey. “It’s something, with us being so young, that we have to show up the next day at practice and work harder than what we’ve been working. The older we get, the harder we work, the less the struggle is going to be there. We want to become better at what we do.”
On Friday night, the Jeeps never trailed against a youthful and rebuilding Tartan team — as Devyn Coriell, in his return to the program after a year off, scored just a minute-and-a-half in.
East’s Austin Smith scored on the ensuing possession for the 2-2 tie, but the Jeeps scored the next dozen points over the next three minutes — and the anticipated blowout was on.
Bryson Ramirez and Chase Coyle canned three-pointers apiece to get the Tartans to within 14-5 and 16-8, but the Jeeps answered back with back-to-back threes by Andrew Smith and Brayden Bockway before the first quarter ended — and East never threatened again.
In fact, as South Webster won the second quarter 21-2 and the third frame 18-4, the only East points over those middle two periods were second-stanza free throws by Coyle and Smith — and third-quarter field goals by Landhen Pernell.
Both teams substituted liberally throughout the final three quarters, as East endured scoring droughts of at least four minutes three times.
The Jeeps, in fact, from the one-and-a-half minute mark of the second quarter until the 3:42 point of the third, scored 20 consecutive points to make it 56-10.
Jaren Lower, the freshman who tied the senior Bockway with three threes apiece, landed the final South Webster three-ball — and points — for the Jeeps’ largest lead at 71-20.
East ended up with four fourth-quarter field goals — one by Pernell, one by Coyle and the final two by Smith.
Cole, while instructing his Jeeps to work on sets and defenses during the second half, wanted his charges to maintain the intensity.
“We were able to only have two scrimmages with our entire team, so I had to get them in a little bit in the second half and execute and just keep the intensity up,” he said. “We worked our way into our bench, and everybody got in the game and was able to play a little bit.”
The Jeeps actually outscored the Tartans in total from behind the three-point line alone — as they nailed 10.
South Webster made four in the first — and two apiece in the final three quarters.
Bockway and Lower landed 13 points apiece on the strength of their three triples, as Bockway was also 4-of-5 at the foul line.
Bockway had all of his markers in the opening half, while Lower did the same in the second.
Trae Zimmerman, on eight total field goals, paced the Jeeps and all scorers with 17 points — almost outscoring Sciotoville by himself.
Andrew Smith scored 11 on five field goals, as Coriell collected eight points on three baskets — and Gabe Ruth recorded three buckets and 3-of-4 foul shots for seven.
Will Collins, with two second-stanza freebies, finished up the South Webster scoring.
Not only do the Tartans’ turnovers need to reduce, they need to improve their shooting — and even free throws.
East only made nine total field goals, and was just 2-of-8 at the stripe.
Bailey said the season is all about the Tartans improving.
“Our kids have shown up every day trying to get better. When we come back to practice, I expect them to have that exact same attitude. It’s a process and we’ve talked about it,” he said. “You mentally have to be tough through it, and at some point, hopefully the hard work will pay off for us.”
The Tartans travel to Eastern on Tuesday for another non-league tilt, while Webster goes to Green on Tuesday for another non-league bout itself.
* * *
East 8 2 4 8 — 22
South Webster 22 21 18 10 — 71
EAST 22 (0-1)
Hagen Metzler 0 0-0 0, Troy Comer 0 0-0 0, Austin Baughman 0 0-0 0, Chase Coyle 2 1-2 6, Leviticus Justice 0 0-0 0, Kyle Winston 0 0-0 0, Andrew Pyles 0 0-2 0, Landhen Pernell 3 0-0 6, Bryson Ramirez 1 0-0 3, Austin Smith 3 1-4 7, Noah Stiltner 0 0-0 0; TOTALS 9 2-8 22; Three-point goals: 2 (Chase Coyle and Bryson Ramirez 1 apiece)
SOUTH WEBSTER 71 (1-0)
Trae Zimmerman 8 -0 17, Gabe Ruth 2 3-4 7, Cam Carpenter 0 0-0 0, Andrew Smith 5 0-0 11, Jaren Lower 5 0-0 13, Devyn Coriell 3 0-0 8, Brayden Bockway 3 4-5 13, Brady Blizzard 0 0-0 0, Aiden Andrews 0 0-0 0, Will Collins 0 2-2 2; TOTALS 26 9-11 71; Three-point goals: 10 (Jaren Lower and Brayden Bockway 3 apiece, Devyn Coriell 2, Trae Zimmerman and Andrew Smith 1 apiece)
Reach Paul Boggs at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1926, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @BoggsSports © 2019 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved