MINFORD — There’s something about South Webster playing Minford on the Falcons’ home court in 2020 that has worked out quite well in its favor.
The Jeeps’ 53-47 victory on Friday was the second time in the last 12 calendar months they’ve stolen a road win over the Falcons — the other coming earlier this calendar year on Jan. 24, courtesy of the now-graduated Brayden Bockway’s game-winner.
Although Jan. 24 feels like a lifetime ago, South Webster’s ability to fight and scratch its way to wins remains relevant.
“We knew it was going to be a battle coming into it,” South Webster coach Brenton Cole said, after the win. “It seems like there’s always a little extra for seniors on Senior Night, so I was kind of worried about that. We had our guys ready to go to bring back that intensity they were going to bring. I like that our guys really matched their intensity and were able to pull it out there in the end.”
A tight contest throughout, the six-point win breaks down as one with key statistical figures favoring the Jeeps.
For starters, South Webster missed just five free throws — knocking them down at a 17-of-22 clip — while the Falcons missed 10.
Additionally, the Jeeps knocked down four threes to Minford’s lone make — limiting the Falcons to 1-of-19 shooting from behind the three-point line.
Each of SW’s four threes were made by junior Trae Zimmerman, whose 26 points on seven field goals and 8-of-11 foul shooting led all scorers.
Zimmerman was active in other areas as well — grabbing six rebounds, dishing six assists, and forcing three Falcon turnovers via steals.
“He’s our floor general. That shot he hit in the third to put us up is one of those you’re hesitant on, then it goes in,” Cole said. “He definitely sparks us and he gets after it on the defensive end. His energy there, the kids feed off of it.”
By game’s end, South Webster had outrebounded Minford 29-26, led by junior Cam Carpenter who had a game-high nine.
Sophomores Connor Bender and Will Collins — both of which started the game — were catalysts for the Jeeps throughout its course.
Collins finished a perfect 5-of-5 from the field and 3-of-4 from the line, while Bender added eight points and went 5-of-6 from the line in the second half.
“Connor had been coming off-the-bench, but started the last couple of games for us. He brings a spark defensively and really gets after it,” Cole said. “The big guys, I call them big but they’re 6-foot-2, they really work in there against the guys that are a little bigger. They get physical, they get in there and get rebounds — really proud of my team for matching their physicality.”
Minford honored seniors Elijah Vogelsong-Lewis, Skyler Knore, Drew Skaggs and Matthew Risner in pregame festivities prior to Friday’s contest — a tradition more area schools have been moving toward the beginning of this winter sports season.
The Falcons were led in scoring by junior Trenton Zimmerman who had 14 points — seven coming in each half of play.
Zimmerman finished 6-of-11 from the field and grabbed five rebounds, second to only Vogelsong-Lewis.
EV-L scored nine points on three made field goals and had six rebounds.
Back to the road again, South Webster travels to Eastern on Tuesday (Dec. 15) — seeking its second consecutive win in league (Southern Ohio Conference Division II) play.
For a team with no seniors that played in its two league games last week — a narrow loss to Waverly and Friday’s win over Minford — the Jeeps continue their march forward into December, eagerly awaiting their next challenge.
“We’re proud they won, but the first thing we as coaches heard them say was, ‘What time’s practice tomorrow?’,” Cole said. “As a coach, you love that. You want to be in the gym, and if you don’t want to be in the gym, you shouldn’t be doing this. That’s the group I have this year — they want to get after it, they want you to get into them.”
Minford was set to play a non-league contest versus Whiteoak on Saturday (Dec. 12) at 3 p.m. — to be hosted by Shawnee State University.
* * *
South Webster 10 11 12 20 — 53
Minford 12 9 10 16 — 47
SOUTH WEBSTER 53 (3-2, 1-2 SOC II)
Connor Bender 1 6-7 8, Trae Zimmerman 7 8-11 26, Brock Campbell 0 0-0 0, Jaren Lower 0 0-0 0, Cam Carpenter 2 0-0 4, Brady Blizzard 1 0-0 2, Myles Beasly 0 0-0 0, Zander Rawlins 0 0-0 0, Will Collins 5 3-4 13; TOTALS 16 17-22 53; Three-point field goals: 4 (Trae Zimmerman 4)
MINFORD 47 (1-1, 1-1 SOC II)
Trenton Zimmerman 6 2-7 14, Elijah Vogelsong-Lewis 3 2-2 9, Skyler Knore 0 4-4 4, Matthew Risner 3 0-0 6, Drew Skaggs 0 0-0 0, Devan Parker 2 2-3 6, Levi Coriell 1 0-0 2, Adam Crank 3 0-1 6, Nathaniel Knight 0 0-0 0; TOTALS 18 10-20 47; Three-point field goals: 1 (Elijah Vogelsong-Lewis 1)
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved