Pioneer senior Joey Walker (right) levitates over Bishop Hartley’s Amari Gaston (left) as Jonathan Alder mounted an intense offensive attack Tuesday night. Walker recorded seven points with three rebounds, one assist and one steal in Tuesday’s victory. (Journal-Tribune photo by Aleksei Pavloff)
Jonathan Alder came through with a solid performance on both ends of the court Tuesday against Bishop Hartley.
In doing so, the Pioneers took the Hawks to task during a 46-21 win on the road.
“We had a couple of really great practices… and we put the necessary work in to come out and have a great response tonight,” JA head coach Zach Ross said.
From the tip-off, Jonathan Alder got to business quickly whilst in hostile territory. However, the first points of the contest did not occur until the latter half of the opening quarter.
Pioneer sophomore Peyton Heiss tallied the first bucket of the night, taking a chance from beyond the arc. However, Bishop Hartley’s Mix Blain responded with a Hawks three-point goal.
The Pioneers bulked up on the defensive end of the court by limiting the Hawks to just that three-point goal.
Tyler Begin, Grant Welsch, Joey Walker and Heiss combined for 11 JA points.
In the second quarter, JA struggled to complete scoring opportunities until the bottom half of the set.
In the end, the Pioneers outscored the Hawks 9-5.
Trifectas by Heiss and Reed VanKirk led to Alder’s 20-8 halftime margin.
“Make the next right play and stop worrying about all the external circumstances,” Ross told his team during the second quarter and at halftime. “Sometimes we played a little too sideways
“I said ‘just attack,’” he said. “We eventually did that and I think that let us break it open.”
Heiss continued to challenge Bishop Hartley’s perimeter defense with a pair of three-pointers .
He notched a layup and added two free-throws. JA’s defense once again allowed just five points from the Hawks’ bench as the Pioneers continued to pull away.
JA took a 34-13 spread into the final period.
Welsch, Vankirk and Heiss continued to put pressure on the Hawks during the final set.
They teamed for four three-pointers.
Bishop Hartley tallied its most productive quarter (eight points) , but the deal was already sealed.
Heiss led JA with 19 points.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Ross said about the team’s overall shooting performance (16-of-37 for 43%). “They deserved a night like this, and we shared the ball super well.”
The Pioneers recorded 13 assists on 16 field goals. Welsch led with five.
“That’s Alder basketball,” Ross commented.
The Hawks claimed 22 total rebounds — 11 offensive and 11 defensive — while taking five steals with two blocks.
For the Pioneers, JA notched 30 total rebounds — 9 offensive and 21 defensive — with Taber Headings taking credit for 18 total.
In junior varsity action, the Pioneers overcame the Hawks in a close-scoring matchup, winning in the end 48-43. Noah Hess recorded 19 points in the team’s win.
The Pioneers are slated to face-off against Shawnee Friday, Jan. 7, in Springfield.
The Braves boast a 7-2 overall record and are undefeated in conference matchups (3-0). Similarly, the Pioneers are also undefeated (3-0) in the Central Buckeye Conference’s Kenton Trail Division and hold an overall record of 6-2.
Welsch 3-1-9, Harrington 0-0-0, Heiss 6-2-19, Mark 0-0-0, Jackson 0-0-0, Scott 0-0-0, Vankirk 3-0-8, Begin 1-0-3, Walker 3-1-7, Headings 0-0-0. Three-point goals: Welsch 2, Heiss 5, Vankirk 2, Begin.
Thomas 0-0-0, Navaro 0-0-0, Nicholas 4-1-9, Nurphy 1-0-2, Gaston 0-0-0, Cook 2-1-5, Collaway 0-0-0, Blain 1-0-3, Coyan 1-0-2, Wooten 0-0-0. Three-point goals: Blain.