Harley Day of North Union drives to the basket for a layup during the Wildcats’ 78-57 win against Buckeye Valley. Day was among the Cats’ top scorers, collecting 15 points during the contest.
(Journal-Tribune photo by Sam Dillon)
The North Union boys basketball team had several things to celebrate after its 78-57 win against Mid Ohio Athletic Conference rival Buckeye Valley on Saturday. The Cats were able to make what head coach Brian Terrill called “the biggest turn-around in 48 hours” he has ever seen.
Terrill also had the delight of reaching a coaching milestone of his 250th career win with North Union on Saturday.
“Where did you hear about that,” Terrill said with a chuckle. “We’ve had a lot of good players,” he added when asked how he got to his 250th victory.
The victory was Terrill’s 150th as the boys coach. He previously won 100 while coaching the Lady Cats.
“When the coaching staff and I took it over, North Union wasn’t historically very good,” he said of the boys team. “They had never won a championship in 45 years. Once we got the culture changed and we had enough players, things have been pretty good to us.”
The outcome that got him to the milestone was the type of game that highlighted why he has been a coach at North Union for two decades.
The Cats went into the Buckeye Valley contest suffering what Terrill stated as “the worst game they have played all season” only two days prior to Saturday’s game.
This game was the polar opposite of their previous contest as the Cats opened up the first quarter against Buckeye Valley with a 12-0 run.
“I just challenged them to play hard and our focus was on attacking the rim and attacking the glass on the rebound,” Terrill said.
The all-out attack was led by Harley Day and Riley Price. The duo put 12 points on the board in the first eight minutes, while Day was able to suck up nearly everything that didn’t fall in the basket.
“Harley Day played the best game I have ever seen him play,” Terrill stated. “He had to have a double-double. I thought everybody played well, but Harley is the guy who can make this team great.”
By the end of the first, NU they had an 18-12 lead that only grew as the contest progressed.
The Cats continued to widen their lead in the second quarter with an explosive offensive that plundered the Barons for 24 points in eight minutes.
The defense held BV to only 12 points, nine of which came on three-pointers.
“They had a spurt where they had three or four three-point shots in a row and then we switched to a man (defense),” said Terrill. “We shut them down after that.”
Despite BV’s open long shots, the Cats held a 42-24 lead going into the locker rooms.
North Union continued its command on the scoreboard by matching the Barons point-for-point in the third quarter. The Cats did so by utilizing their bench to keep players rotating in and out of the game.
“Everybody who rotated into the game helped out with making better decisions with the ball,” said Terrill. “Our shot selection was better and our energy was better on defense.”
The Cats looked to their shooters to keep the offensive tempo high and they didn’t disappoint. Preston Crabtree added five points during the quarter to help the Cats keep a 62-43 lead.
Crabtree continued his hot hand in the fourth with seven points and was the Cats’ leading scorer with 18 points.
Terrill continued to look to his youth on the bench in Trevyn Feasel. He added four points in the quarter to give him a game total of 11 points.
As time ticked away, the Cats kept their foot on the gas with 16 points and cruised to their fifth win of the season.
The dramatic transformation was encouraging to Terrill, but he says he hopes his Cats will be able to find some consistency.
“I have no control over that (consistency),” he said. “It is up to each individual player to figure out what they need to do to get themselves ready to play.
“That is part of maturing as an individual and as a team. That is the stuff you can’t drill.”
North Union will return to action on Wednesday when it hosts London.
NU 18 24 20 16 78
BV 12 12 19 14 57
North Union: Crabtree-18, Price-16, Day- 15, Feasel- 11, Soviak- 8, Neel- 7, Terrill- 2, Krebehenne- 1
Buckeye Valley: Herbert- 17, Newland- 12, Richard- 7, Jackson- 5, Lucas- 5, Stokey- 5, Foltz- 3, Rotundo- 2, Matlack- 1.
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