Pioneers dial in trifectas during CBC triumph


Jonathan Alder’s Jacob Koenig goes up for two of his game-high 24 points Friday night against Tecumseh. The Pioneers won, 56-35.
(Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)
There is an old basketball adage that says a team that lives by the three-pointer will certainly at some point die by it.
The Jonathan Alder hoopsters did a lot of living Friday night during their 56-35 victory over Tecumseh.
The Pioneers (8-2 overall and 4-0 in the Central Buckeye Conference) drilled the Arrows’ defense for 12 trifectas.
The guys who were feeling it the most from beyond the arc were Jacob Koenig and Jaron Wheelbarger.
They hit a blistering nine-of-14 between them and combined for 38 points.
“We’re a perimeter team,” said Alder coach Brent Cahill. “We knew Tecumseh would play a 2-3 matchup zone and would give us those shots.”
Koenig was on fire during the opening period as his 13 points staked the Pioneers to a 17-0 lead.
The Arrows played a half-court offense for the entire game. It’s a strategy that often calls for extreme patience in looking for an open shot.
Tecumseh, though, appeared to be patient to an extreme as several shot opportunities went by the wayside of an extra pass.
That, in turn, led to a number of turnovers for the visitors.
The Arrows did not score until Clay Mastin converted a steal into a buzzer-beating lay-up.
That briefly awakened Tecumseh, which went on to score the first seven points of the second quarter.
“They couldn’t find us in transition during the first period,” said Cahill. “Their basket at the end of the first period gave them a little life to start the second quarter.”
Wheelbarger had the right answer for the Arrows’ run as he tickled the twine on three consecutive trifectas for a 26-9 advantage.
Koenig then hit nothing but net on a three-ball that sent the Pioneers (who will host Bellefontaine on Tuesday) into the turn with a 29-11 lead.
Cameron Androw began the third period with a three-pointer that pushed JA out to a 32-11 margin.
Jackson Izzard followed suit with a shot that pushed the lead to 37-15.
Tecumseh’s halfcourt set-up is not meant to be a hurry-up type of offense.
With that said, Alder’s 20-plus point margin was just too much to overcome.
The Pioneers, who hit nearly 50 percent from beyond the three-point line, took a 41-24 lead into the final eight minutes of action and coasted to the victory.
Jonathan Alder
Koenig 7-5-24, Wheelbarger 4-2-14, Androw 2-0-5, Santa-Emma 2-0-4, Izzard 1-0-3, Ellis 1-0-3, Heinig 1-0-2, Walker 0-1-1. Totals 18-8-56.
Three-point goals: Koenig 5, Wheelbarger 4, Androw 1, Izzard 1, Ellis 1.
Mastin 3-6-12, R. Collins 3-2-8, Lewis 1-2-5, Slone 1-0-3, Alltop 1-0-3, Berner 1-0-2, Cory 1-0-2, D. Collins 0-0-0. Totals 11-10-35.
Three-point goals: Lewis 1, Slone 1, Alltop 1.

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