Jonathan Alder’s Henry Walker slams down a dunk during Tuesday’s 59-20 victory over Graham. (Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)
Jonathan Alder’s boys basketball team clamped a suffocating defense on Graham Tuesday evening.
That defense propelled the Pioneers (10-2) to an easy 59-20 victory over the visiting Falcons.
Although turnover stats weren’t available, it is safe to say that Graham suffered nearly as many miscues as it scored points in falling to 1-12 on the season.
The Pioneers took away the Falcons’ propensity for three-pointers by extending their man-to-man defense in tight against shooters.
“We had scouted Graham and knew they liked to shoot three’s,” said Alder coach Zach Ross. “We made sure we took that away from them.”
The Falcons managed to connect on only a pair of trifectas for the contest.
When the three-point shots failed to materialize, Graham tried to take the ball to the hoop.
Alder refused to allow that to happen by shutting down driving and passing lanes.
Ross attributed a good deal of JA’s defensive prowess to 6-7 post player Henry Walker.
“Henry is one of our unsung heroes,” said the coach, adding Walker (who blocked several shots) does a good job of clogging the lane.
Graham’s Braden Blankenship hit an early bucket, but that shot accounted for the only Falcon points of the opening quarter.
The Pioneers converted a number of turnovers into transition baskets and also took time off the clock by using their patient, halfcourt offense for other buckets.
Walker assisted on a shot by Tyler Begin. Jackson Izzard converted a steal into an assist on Logan Stevens’ shot.
Those buckets pushed the Pioneers out to a 13-2 lead.
“We really shared the ball well tonight,” said Ross. “It really doesn’t matter to these guys who shoots as long as they are good shots.”
Jackie Santa-Emma and Izzard came up with the ball and went coast-to-coast on separate occasions as Alder’s lead expanded to 17-2.
Walker stole the ball and ended the first-quarter scoring with a dunk. That sent JA into the second set with a 19-2 lead.
Santa-Emma’s trifecta was sandwiched between baskets by Walker and Stevens.
Grant Welsch hit a basket that expanded Alder’s lead to 28-2 in the second set.
The Falcons didn’t get back on the scoreboard until Nick Prince drained a three-ball with 4:22 left until halftime.
Alder took a 36-8 lead at the turn and continued the rout during the second half.
It took Graham more than two minutes into the third quarter to finally reach double digits in scoring.
That really didn’t matter, however, as the Pioneers, who made liberal use of their bench, took a 53-12 lead into the fourth period and coasted to the victory.
Stevens 6-0-13, Santa-Emma 5-0-12, Izzard 3-2-9, Walker 4-0-8, Welsch 2-0-5, T. Begin 2-0-4, D. Begin 1-0-2, Heisler 1-0-2, Heimlich 1-0-2, Reed 1-0-2, Richie 0-0-0. Totals 26-2-59.
Three-point goals: Santa-Emma 2, Stevens 1, Izzard 1, Welsch 1.
Sells 1-2-4, Hannahs 1-1-3, Prince 1-0-3, Ludlow 1-1-3, Goddard 1-0-3, Blankenship 1-0-2, Maurice 1-0-2, Vanscoy 0-0-0, Russell 0-0-0, Black 0-0-0, Buck 0-0-0. Totals 7-4-20.
Three-point goals: Prince 1, Goddard 1.
Jon Alder’s Jackson Izzard goes up for a basket against Graham on Tuesday. The Pioneers rolled to a 59-20 victory. (Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)
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