One quarter of basketball proved to be the difference in a match-up between a pair of Madison County boys basketball teams Tuesday, Jan. 31.
Jonathan Alder used a second-quarter scoring spurt to gain separation from host London and held on for a 51-38 non-league victory.
“It was a Tuesday night game and we seemed to lack energy,” coach Brent Cahill said. “We did a pretty good job in the second quarter of getting out and running a bit. Sometimes our best offense is a semi-primary break. We got some easy baskets in that stretch which allowed us to stretch it out a bit.”
The Pioneers (12-5) were ahead 8-3 at the end of the first quarter but the Red Raiders (1-14) had closed the gap to just a bucket at 10-8 when Alder went on a scoring binge.
Matt Seimer hit a three pointer, Cameron Androw did the same and Andrew Koenig scored on a baseline drive to push the advantage to double figures (18-8). Alder continued to execute with precise execution, getting open looks right near the basket and took a comfortable 25-11 lead to the locker room at halftime.
London, which has improved greatly since the beginning of the season, still has little to show for it in terms of victories. The Raiders however are playing better and have been much more competitive in the last few weeks. They matched the Pioneers in scoring point for point in the second half.
“I saw London back at the beginning of the season against North Union and this was a completely different team,” Cahill said. “You can just look at how they’re playing and look at the box scores and see they’re playing better.
“They’re getting better and better. They’re going to knock somebody off here in the last couple weeks of the season. I’m just glad it wasn’t us. They’ve gotten a lot better.”
Alder got 19 points from senior Andrew Koenig. Sophomore Jacob Koenig added 12 and the junior Androw ended the game with eight points.
Shekinah Christian 61,
Tree of Life 50
The Flames (7-10) had things going from beyond the three-point arc Tuesday as they downed Tree of Life.
Shekinah hit nine 3-point shots in the game and scored 20 points in each the first and fourth quarter to pull out the victory.
For the game both teams shot poorly. Shekinah Christian shot 37 percent from the field (19-52) while Tree of Life was no better finishing at 35 percent (21-60).
“The difference in the game came from the charity stripe,” Shekinah coach Keith Lambert said. “We shot 14 of 17 from the foul line (82 percent) while Tree of Life was only 3 of 4 on attempted free throws.”
After the Flames built a 20-11 advantage through the first quarter, the visiting Trojans kept chipping away at the lead over the next two periods. After an rough third quarter in which both teams had to endure cold shooting and numerous turnovers, the action picked up in the final frame.
With less than 3:30 remaining in the game, Tree of Life freshman Ian Leach knocked down a three-pointer to cut the Flames advantage to 47-45. However, the Trojans would get no closer.
Chris Conte led the team with 17 points, most of which came on made three pointers (five). Austin Lynn (13) and John-Michael Hershberger (12) both reached double figures.
West Jefferson 59,
The Lady Roughriders (11-5, 6-4 in MSL Ohio) got a spirited first half from the visiting Rams (4-16), but it was West Jeff which played four quarters of good basketball in this lopsided affair Tuesday.
Whitehall jumped out to a 11-10 lead in the first quarter. But West Jeff answered with a strong second quarter and carried that momentum into the second half. The ′Riders defense tightened up in the second half allowing just 13 points after the break.
West Jeff got key scoring contributions from a number of different sources, including 18 points from Sydney Gaus, 11 from Alexis Good and eight from Brooklyn Keaton. Hope Lewis and Olivia Charles had six points apiece in the win.
Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.